Verstappen: happy with first day, no problems on the engine side
Despite believing there is more fine-tuning to be done on the RB15 over Friday night, Verstappen is satisfied with his new car’s performance out of the box in Australia.
Verstappen ended up P4 and P3 in the two free practice sessions in the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park, round one of the 2019 Formula 1 season, being happy with the Red Bull performance over the day.
“Pretty happy with our first day. The balance of the car is good, we did a lot of laps and our pace is fine. We will keep pushing to improve. From the engine side, no problems. [Honda] just went very smoothly and things were good”, said Verstappen.
Nevertheless, the Dutch driver recognizes that different areas of the car need to be improved, hoping that the RB15 will be ready for the qualifying session on Saturday, underlying how Mercedes looks the fastest car at the moment.
“There are always areas to improve, so we're looking at that tonight. I guess we'll find out more later on in qualifying. The Mercedes looks very quick. We've got lots of work to do and for sure we'll analyse a lot.”
Chris Horner confirmed Max Verstappen’s impressions regarding the RB15, seeming content with his team work and pointing out Mercedes as the favourite for the pole-position. Nonetheless, asked about Red Bull’s pace in comparison to Mercedes and Ferrari he issued a warning shot that the W10, while clearly fast, looked difficult to handle.
“Long runs we look pretty sensible. I think the one-lap pace of the Mercedes in [FP2] looked pretty impressive. But the car looks stiff and difficult to drive, so whether that's sustainable for a Grand Prix, I don't know.
“Ferrari looked like they under-delivered to what we thought they had in testing, and our guys both had pretty decent runs. Max got quite a bit of traffic on his fast laps but I think there's more potential there, there's more set-up changes. We don't know what fuel loads people are running, but it looks interesting.”