Max fifth in FP2 after limited running: 'Not ideal, but happy with the balance'
Published on 09 November 2018 by Stefan Meens
In the second free practice session of the Brazilian Grand Prix, Max had to settle for limited track time. The Dutchman’s RB14 suffered an oil leak, which prevented the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing driver fom participating in the first half of FP1. Once the team fixed the issue, Max set the fifth quickest time of the session. Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas was fastest.
“From the start I was happy with the car, which I proved with the fastest lap in FP1. The balance of the car is good”, explains Max. “It’s a shame I missed out on track time at the start of the second session. It meant I had to go through my programme quicker. I also had some traffic on my run on the super-softs, so it wasn’t an ideal session.”
Previewing Saturday, Max remains realistic: “I don’t think we can fight for pole, but the car runs well. And the despite the fact we can improve on some things, I’m happy with our long run pace.”
FP2 starts like any other free practice session; most drivers head back to their teams after their installation laps, before preparing for their first timed laps. The second Friday session at Interlagos has a more spectacular start. Ten minutues in, Nico Hulkenberg goes wide at turn 13, resulting in a heavy crash into the barriers. Apart from a dented ego, the incident produces a red flag.
The track is cleared by the marshalls and ten minutes later, the circuit is given the all clear. Max is unable to capitalize on the open track as his mechanics work hard to fix the oil leak. Meanwhile, Mercedes and Ferrari set the pace with Valtteri Bottas, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel all vying for top spot.”
At the halfway point, Max climbs into his RB14 and is ready to head out. After a five-laps stint on the soft Pirelli compound, the Dutchman returns to the pits for a switch to the super-softs. His subsequent timed lap is his quickest of the session, granting him P5
With twenty minutes on the clock, Max continues on the same set of the super-softs. Like most, he ventures on a long run, meaning the lap times no longer improve.
|4||Daniel Ricciardo||RIC||Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer||1:09.164||+0.318s||44|
|5||Max Verstappen||VER||Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer||1:09.339||+0.493s||28|
|7||Romain Grosjean||GRO||Haas Ferrari||1:09.769||+0.923s||44|
|8||Charles Leclerc||LEC||Sauber Ferrari||1:09.943||+1.097s||44|
|9||Kevin Magnussen||MAG||Haas Ferrari||1:10.007||+1.161s||39|
|10||Esteban Ocon||OCO||Force India Mercedes||1:10.159||+1.313s||45|
|11||Sergio Perez||PER||Force India Mercedes||1:10.320||+1.474s||23|
|12||Pierre Gasly||GAS||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||1:10.330||+1.484s||44|
|13||Fernando Alonso||ALO||McLaren Renault||1:10.332||+1.486s||36|
|15||Marcus Ericsson||ERI||Sauber Ferrari||1:10.532||+1.686s||44|
|16||Sergey Sirotkin||SIR||Williams Mercedes||1:10.569||+1.723s||46|
|17||Stoffel Vandoorne||VAN||McLaren Renault||1:10.596||+1.750s||26|
|18||Lance Stroll||STR||Williams Mercedes||1:10.662||+1.816s||44|
|19||Brendon Hartley||HAR||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||1:10.734||+1.888s||46|