June 22, 2024

Brighton Journal

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Red Bull ‘seriously off the pace’ in Imola Formula 1 testing

Red Bull ‘seriously off the pace’ in Imola Formula 1 testing

Verstappen’s frustration mounted throughout the two practice sessions as his updated Red Bull RB20 proved difficult to control in the second sector of the technical Italian field.

The three-time world champion finished the first trials in fifth place and fell to seventh place in the second, more than half a second behind Ferrari leader Charles Leclerc. His teammate Sergio Perez came in eighth place, another ten times behind the Dutchman.

Verstappen has often expressed his frustration with the RB20’s rebellious behavior and unpredictable balance on team radio. After the session, it was feared Red Bull would be too slow despite the new upgrades, which include an all-new front wing, and modifications to the floor and rear bodywork.

“A tough day,” Verstappen told Formula 1 TV. “It’s difficult to have a good balance and not feel comfortable in the car and move a lot.”

“It’s very easy to lose a car, so we have some things we have to look at because today is definitely….just bad, but not comfortable.

He added: “Also the long run has been very bad, so there are definitely some things we have to improve if we want to be competitive tomorrow.

“Today we were far behind the pace we need to fix.”

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB20

Photography: Zach Mauger / Motorsport pictures

When asked if he had confidence in the team’s ability to turn things around on Saturday, he joked: “I guess it can’t be worse than what we had today, right?

“We’ll look at some things we can do better for tomorrow. But yeah, it seems like the others took a step forward a little bit. From our side, it was just a bad day.”

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Lewis Hamilton also angered Verstappen, impeding him during the Villeneuve chicane ahead of Tosa. This led to Verstappen angrily gesturing to the Briton as he stopped next to the Mercedes.

“It’s not the first time,” Verstappen said of Hamilton blocking him. “Of course you always try to stay calm about it. But yes, it happened again.

“But on the other hand, I don’t want to talk about it too much, because that’s not our issue today.”

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