Max Verstappen says he doesn’t expect Red Bull to repeat its tactic of running the hard tyre in Q2 in tomorrow’s Formula 1 qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix.

At last weekend’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone, Verstappen was the only driver to progress into Q3 from Q2 on the hard tyre - and thus started the race on it.

It proved to be a masterstroke with Verstappen managing to stick with the Mercedes pair in the first stint before benefitting strategically later in the race, ultimately going onto take his first victory of the season.

When asked if Red Bull would try something similar again, Verstappen played down the idea because Pirelli has nominated its hardest tyre compounds for this weekend’s race - the C1, C2 and C3 - rather than the C2, C3 and C4, which it did at the 70th GP last weekend.

“We are using all the hardest compounds so I think it’s OK, manageable,” Verstappen said. "I would have liked a bit softer but it is what it is.

“I think the compounds are so hard I don’t think you need to go that extreme as we did in the second week in Silverstone.”

Verstappen has ruled out challenging Mercedes in qualifying, but he’s hopeful of challenging Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas on race day.

“Well qualifying I don’t think so, Mercedes is really fast,”  Verstappen added. “Who knows in the race. I felt quite good today but let’s see on Sunday if it’s going to be the same.”

While Red Bull was good on tyres at Silverstone, Alexander Albon felt it was struggling more so in this area in Barcelona.

“It’s OK,” Albon said. “It’s not the blistering like we had in Silverstone but it’s not actually as comfortable, for us at least. It was quite good at Silverstone. It was tricky out there. There will be a lot of tyre management that’s for sure.”

 

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