Barcelona Testing – Max Verstappen insists that any problems which have arisen through pre-season testing “aren’t major”.
The Red Bull Racing team encountered an issue with their turbocharger on the final day of pre-season testing, which kept Verstappen on the garage for some time.
Despite the problem, Verstappen still managed to complete 71 laps of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya circuit as the team focused on a mixture of shorter and longer runs.
Like most teams, a series of issues delayed their pre-season testing programme. Their total lap count from pre-season testing was significantly lower than Ferrari and Mercedes.
However, speaking after the final day of testing, Verstappen is adamant that none of the issues will hold the team back in their preparations for the opening race at the end of the month.
“I’m not too worried about the small issues we’ve had; that’s what testing is for. They aren’t major problems and I’m quite sure they will be solved before Melbourne,” said Verstappen.
“In terms of lap times, I think we just have to wait and see until the first race weekend. For us the most important thing today was to check the balance a bit more and work on getting the car where we want it.
“The performance is not too bad. For sure we want to improve, but for now it’s OK. Testing is just about trying to improve the car, it’s not about qualifying lap times.”
Head of Race Engineering Guillaume Rocquelin believed that the team will be competitive in the season-opening race in Australia, but refrained from predicting the current running order:
“In terms of the tests as a whole, broadly speaking we’ve achieved what we wanted to do. There were a few niggles but that’s always the case with a new car and we knew how to manage those situations.
“Do I think we can be competitive? I think so. We’re happy with the balance and happy with the performance.
“Some teams put in some impressive lap times but there are so many parameters at play in testing that it’s extremely difficult to form a really clear picture of where everyone is.”