Subdued day for Red Bull Racing in Barcelona. Max Verstappen managed to put himself in second place in the opening free practice session in Spain but failed to clock a fast time during FP2 on the soft tyre. The Dutchman went wide at turn 10, the one which was modified before the race weekend at Montmelò, Barcelona, and then decided to focus on his long rung. The RB16B race pace was good but slower compared to Mercedes'. Verstappen finished his Friday in ninth position.
“Overall I think we actually had quite a good day and the car seems pretty competitive - said Max at the end of the day - I was a little bit wide at Turn 10 on my push lap in FP2 but there is nothing shocking to report from either session. The track changes to Turn 10 seem better over one lap when you are pushing. It is a bit faster and more enjoyable to drive, but for overtaking I think it could be worse. How competitive we are going to be tomorrow is always going to be a question mark on a Friday but from our side we are quite happy. Of course you always want to improve and do better so we just have to make sure tomorrow that we are up there but I’m looking forward to it”.
A difficult day on the other side of the box as well, as Sergio Perez couldn't go beyond the ninth position in the morning. The Mexican pace was not as stronger as Verstappen, meaning there is still a lot of work to do before quali. Checo closed the day in 10th.
“It was a tricky day today. We had a couple of delays in both sessions which meant we were rushing a little and running into some traffic, and with less practice time this year it’s important to get the laps in. Tonight we’ve got some understanding to do and pace to find, especially over one lap. I think our long-run pace is stronger but there’s work to do. Let’s see what we can find because qualifying here is especially important. Hopefully we can recover the pace and be in the mix tomorrow”.