Verstappen broke Red Bull front wing during fastest practice lap
Max Verstappen is "confident" going into Formula 1's season-opener in Austria after admitting to breaking the front wing on his Red Bull during his fastest lap in Friday practice.
The RB16 is rammed full of updates and also sports a spec-two Honda power unit, which has left Red Bull team principal Christian Horner buoyant coming into the campaign.
Despite suffering a spin, Verstappen was initially third quickest in first practice at the Red Bull Ring behind a Mercedes one-two spearheaded by reigning six-time champion Lewis Hamilton, who also topped the FP2 timesheet.
Verstappen, though, could only finish ninth fastest in the afternoon, nine-tenths of a second adrift of the Briton, but was far from concerned with his time.
Assessing his day, Verstappen said: "Overall it was a positive day, the car was handling well and I’m pleased with the number of laps we did which is really important after such a long break.
"The lap times don’t really say anything because I broke my front wing on the push lap, so we had to fit a different wing. I think we were a little too aggressive for that and I had a spin and a little off, but nothing major.
"The kerbs are what they are here and it’s the same for everyone. The front wing doesn’t really like the yellow kerbs so we do have to be careful.
"We are, I think, confident and there are always things we can do better but overall it was a good day and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
Team-mate Alex Albon also spun on a couple of occasions, leaving him down in 13th in FP2 and 1.149secs adrift of Hamilton, which left him describing his car as "lairy", and wary of the circuit's kerbs he has described as "front-wing killers".
"There are a couple of things we need to work on, and there’s always a bit of time in your driving and set-up, so we’ll see where we are tomorrow but we know what to do," said Albon.
"You’ve got to build-up to the limit here as the kerbs are dangerous and some of them can be front wing killers if you hit them too hard. But overall the car felt good, I feel good, and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
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