Max Verstappen admits he’s not enjoying driving Bahrain's ‘outer circuit’ due to the short nature of it causing traffic issues in Friday F1 practice.

With lap times under 60 seconds, traffic will be a recurring issue throughout the rest of the Sakhir Grand Prix weekend.

The tight, twisty middle part of Sakhir's 'outer circuit' which has a combination of blind corners which makes moving out of the way for oncoming traffic very difficult. 

“It’s not the most exciting to drive, to be honest,” Verstappen said. “Also because of the small track, the radio is constantly open. It’s like ‘be careful here, traffic there’, it’s not really what you want.

“Also in the second sector, it’s quite blind through a lot of corners, it’s quite dangerous around there to slow down. We have to cool down the tyres to be able to do another lap so it’s not nice or the easiest to drive but it is what it is.”

The timesheets made good reading for Verstappen as he ended the day just 0.128s behind Mercedes’ George Russell.

However, Valtteri Bottas had his best lap time of the day deleted for exceeding track limits at Turn 8, which was a further 0.2s faster than Russell’s benchmark.

Taking this into account, the Dutchman says Red Bull has to find gains overnight if it is to challenge Mercedes.

“I think balance-wise we still didn’t find the optimum setup, especially short runs,” Verstappen added. “It still seems like we’re lacking a bit. Long runs didn’t seem too bad but even there we can do better.

“I mean, OK, Valtteri’s lap got cancelled but we’re three and a half tenths off which is quite a bit. We need to find more, working towards quali and then again in the race.

“I think we also need to improve a bit more to be competitive.”




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