Max Verstappen says it was “not a perfect day, but still a good one” after getting two-thirds of the way through a race simulation before spinning off track and picking up suspected damage on his Red Bull.

Having completed short stint runs trialling set-up tweaks to his RB15 in the morning session, the Dutch driver commenced a planned race simulation at the start of the afternoon session. But two-thirds of the way through the run he spun off in the final sector in the stadium before returning to the pits.

Red Bull inspected his gearbox and other parts to assess any damage that had been sustained in his trip through the gravel trap but the Dutch driver was able to return to track action inside the final hour to see his tally of laps finish at 128 – just two fewer than leader Robert Kubica for Williams and Carlos Sainz for McLaren in terms of individual drivers.

“Not a perfect day, but still a good one,” Verstappen assessed. “There are always things you want to check, instead of driving until something breaks.

“We did a routine check this afternoon and then got back out again at the end of the session. But even with the delay we had, we still managed to do over 120 laps, so I think it was still a very positive day. The more laps, the better and today we did a lot, so overall I’m happy.”

Red Bull’s Head of Race Engineering Guillaume Rocquelin confirmed the car checks were routine and didn’t trigger any lasting problems.

“We managed two-thirds of that but after Max had a brief off, we pitted for some routine checks with the gearbox,” Rocquelin said. “It’s not the easiest element of the car to get deep into, so it kept us in the garage for a while.

“When we did get back out, the change in track conditions meant we weren’t going to learn that much so we focused on pit stop practice, which we had planned as part of the race work.

“Tomorrow, we’ll pursue the same plan, which is all about understanding the car and gaining valuable information.”

Pierre Gasly returns to testing action for Red Bull for his final pre-season day at Circuit de Catalunya.



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