Max Verstappen faced a tough start to the weekend in his hometown as a gearbox issue cut short his first practice session before Ferrari topped the FP2 schedule, leaving the defending champions demanding more from the Red Bull RB18.
Verstappen dominated last weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix and admits this weekend may not be so smooth. He may have been proven right as he finished eighth fastest in FP2 – with Charles Leclerc leading Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz – after transmission issues cut short his FP1 session.
FP1: Russell leads Mercedes 1-2 as Verstappen has problems in first practice at Dutch GP
“Yeah, just missed FP1 on the soft tyres, I think on the hard tyres [in FP2] We can’t really speak to the balance because our tires have so little grip and then you’re behind. We went into FP2 and the balance wasn’t great, but you can’t really change the car a lot in an hour-long session, so we tried to process what we had and it wasn’t great today, so we’d have nights to deal with things. Of course, we can do better than this. “
When asked if he was surprised by the lap time difference with Ferrari, he replied: “Honestly, while driving it, I wasn’t surprised when I saw the lap time difference, so we had a lot of Areas that can be improved.
“We’ve been watching stuff all night, and of course FP3. I’ll try to be competitive, of course.”
2022 Dutch GP FP1: Max Verstappen quits first practice after stop on Zandvoort circuit
Team-mate Sergio Perez, who finished 12th in FP2 after finishing 7th in FP1, said he avoided a ” Massive diversion,” and then responded to Verstappen’s comments about the speed of the car.
“I have a lot of traffic [in FP1] – I bought a Ferrari for my fast laps and unfortunately I can’t read my soft tires properly. It’s going to be a huge diversion and then the degradation seems pretty high in the long run, so it’ll be interesting to see what we can do with this strategy – we certainly need to improve for tomorrow’s qualifying session,” Perez said .
FP2: Leclerc takes Ferrari at the helm at Zandvoort
“I think in general we weren’t as happy as in Belgium, so we need to think about a few things and try to get everything right in order to qualify.
“them [Ferrari and Mercedes] Looking really strong today, so it will be interesting to see what we can do. “