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Red Bull "better than last week" warns Verstappen

Red Bull "better than last week" warns Verstappen



Red Bull "better than last week" warns Verstappen

Red Bull "better than last week" warns Verstappen

Max Verstappen has delivered an ominous warning to Formula 1 rival Mercedes by claiming his Red Bull is already considerably improved compared to a week ago.

Verstappen set the fastest time in Friday practice at the Red Bull Ring with a lap of one minute 03.660secs, a fraction ahead of Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas, with Lewis Hamilton almost seven-tenths off the pace.

The time may yet be good enough for pole position if forecasted thunderstorms wash out qualifying tomorrow and on the back-up of Sunday morning.

Praising the hard work of his team for delivering a quicker car, Verstappen said: “It already feels better than last week, the balance is a lot nicer to drive and we have made a good step.

"It is only Friday practice and, of course, it is too early to say how we are looking against Mercedes, but from our side I think we are quite happy.

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"We have tried a few different directions to understand the car a bit more and I think we are heading the right way which I’m pleased about."

Looking ahead to the race on Sunday, Verstappen added: "Normally our race pace is more competitive.

"But already over one lap we can’t complain, and actually the 11 laps I did in last week’s race [before retiring] didn’t look too bad, so it can only get better."

By contrast, team-mate Alex Albon struggled, ending the day seventh after twice spinning in FP2, notably late on when he slid across the gravel. The Thai-British driver is hopeful he can learn from his team-mate.

“We’ll still treat tonight like any other Friday and look over the data to see what we can learn ahead of tomorrow," said Albon.

"Late in the session I pushed a bit too much on the exit of the corner, nothing serious, and lost the rear.

"Max obviously had a good session and is comfortable with the car so hopefully we can learn a little bit from his side of the garage and take a step forward."

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