Max Verstappen says he feels encouraged by Red Bull’s “very strong” race pace in Friday practice for the Mexican Grand Prix, despite missing half of FP1 due to overheating rear brakes.
The Dutchman was sidelined midway through the morning session when an energy recovery setting “got the rear brakes out of control”, according to team boss Christian Horner.
Verstappen was able to hit the ground running in FP2, clocking 42 laps en route to seventh fastest. Despite trailing Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel by over eight tenths on the supersoft tyre, the 19-year-old remains upbeat over Red Bull’s long-run performance.
“Our race pace was very strong, we need to look into the short run anyway,” Verstappen said. “After missing first practice almost entirely I was still working a lot on the car and finally before the long run I made a final set-up change and that seemed to work pretty well.”
Asked whether he was able to complete his FP2 programme after sitting out half of the morning running, the youngest grand prix winner in F1 history replied: “Yes, we did quite a lot. Of course it is not ideal to miss a lot from the first practice. But after a lot of set-up changes, as you could see, and from there on once we were into the long run we found a good balance.”
FULL REPORT: Vettel edges Hamilton by 0.004s in FP2 in Mexico
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