https://nl.motorsport.com/f1/news/max-v ... /10308392/Verstappen sees Ferrari taking a step: "Long runs are also very good"
Max Verstappen thinks it will be quite a job to win the Spanish Grand Prix. In recent weeks, Red Bull Racing was able to make the difference with a better race pace, but the world champion states that Ferrari has taken a step in that area in the third practice. According to Verstappen, Red Bull still has work to do in one round. "We have to make sure that we bring enough updates and that we take a step over one round in the coming matches."
Max Verstappen had to settle for P2 on Saturday. A problem with the DRS meant that he could no longer threaten Charles Leclerc in the final phase, although that shortcoming does not immediately worry for the race. "We had this problem before last year and it can be solved quickly," explains Verstappen in the paddock of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Apart from the DRS problem, Verstappen believes that Red Bull has taken a step in the right direction towards qualifying. Qualifying speed was lacking on Friday, but after 24 hours it turned out to be better. "We didn't have a top balance in the car this weekend, although it was better in qualifying," the reigning world champion agrees.
"Of course they came with updates and we didn't, so this was a bit to be expected. In all qualifying so far they have been fast over one lap and if you also gain time with new parts then this picture is reasonable normal," Verstappen explains to the Dutch press. As is known, Red Bull has no novelties with it, although the car has become lighter. "When it comes to big steps, you feel it, but with us it's only small steps," clarifies the man with start number 1.
"Yesterday it looked good, but looking at their long runs today, I don't think we have an advantage." In the third free practice, Ferrari has found something for the race, concludes the Scuderia and Verstappen. "You just see they've found speed."
Taking the lead on the opening lap or tire management in the heat? "Well, if it works in turn 1 then of course you go for it, but if that doesn't work then you have to hope that you have a decent race pace, although I think Ferrari will be very strong in that area as well. With these temperatures it is very important to pay close attention to the tires."
The step that Mercedes has taken is not that surprising to the Red Bull driver. "They are still behind it, so no, not really. It also makes sense. Of course they had a lot of problems with the car and if you find a slightly better balance and have less trouble with porpoising, you can immediately find a few tenths."
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