Verstappen blames high temperatures for making it ‘hard’ and ‘difficult’ for Red Bull to find rhythm in Spain

Verstappen blames high temperatures for making it ‘hard’ and ‘difficult’ for Red Bull to find rhythm in Spain

Red Bull are neither down nor absent after a tough opening day in Spain, but Max Verstappen says they have a lot of work to do to battle Ferrari in qualifying – and keep Mercedes in their rear-view mirrors.

The Dutch driver finished third in FP1 and then fifth in FP2 on Friday as the 2022 Spanish Grand Prix weekend got underway – with title rival Charles Leclerc leading both sessions for Ferrari. Verstappen was therefore pragmatic in his assessment of the RB18 after FP2, and pointed to the searing heat as the team’s biggest hurdle.

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“A little difficult to find the balance, with the heat too,” he said. “We clearly still have a bit of work to do on one lap, but on long runs – at least they look pretty decent, so I’m happy with that, just trying to find the middle lane.

“It’s tough on the tires of course around here. Obviously, we’re not over that yet in terms of balance. At least we know the weather will be consistent so we can just work from here,” he added.


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High temperatures made to go hard in Spain

Mercedes having found a rhythm in FP2, as they finished P2 and P3, Verstappen was asked if he was concerned about the silver cars. But he replied: “I mean, I have my sheet so I could see where we are at, that’s why I also said we need to work on the pace of a lap a bit.”

His teammate Sergio Perez sat out EP1 as F2 driver Juri Vips stepped in, but the Mexican returned for EP2 and finished seventh, behind local hero Fernando Alonso. He also cited high temperatures as why his workout was so difficult.

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“It’s all going really fast, you know, getting up to speed, the tire degrading right away, so you basically have two laps. Because it’s not a track where the tire stays new, you basically have one lap for read the balance and then after that you level up, but you don’t really have the maximum grip, so in that regard a bit difficult,” Perez said.


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Perez got out of the car for FP1 as Juri Vips took the wheel

“Long term, I think I was able to read. I think on high fuel we have a pretty good idea of ​​which direction to go more or less, but yeah, I think on low fuel that’s the main trade-off.

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“Hopefully tonight I can find the time I need to be in contention for tomorrow’s fight.”

Red Bull are just six points behind rivals Ferrari in the Championship – while Verstappen are just 19 points behind Leclerc with FP3 and then qualify for the Spanish Grand Prix.

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