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.

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Results second free practice Brazil:

1Valteri BottasBOTMercedes1:08.846 48
2Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:08.849+0.003s43
3Sebastian VettelVETFerrari1:08.919+0.073s42
4Daniel RicciardoRICRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer1:09.164+0.318s44
5Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer1:09.339+0.493s28
6Kimi RäikkönenRAIFerrari1:09.412+0.566s42
7Romain GrosjeanGROHaas Ferrari1:09.769+0.923s44
8Charles LeclercLECSauber Ferrari1:09.943+1.097s44
9Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari1:10.007+1.161s39
10Esteban OconOCOForce India Mercedes1:10.159+1.313s45
11Sergio PerezPERForce India Mercedes1:10.320+1.474s23
12Pierre GaslyGASScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:10.330+1.484s44
13Fernando AlonsoALOMcLaren Renault1:10.332+1.486s36
14Carlos SainzSAIRenault1:10.458+1.612s48
15Marcus EricssonERISauber Ferrari1:10.532+1.686s44
16Sergey SirotkinSIRWilliams Mercedes1:10.569+1.723s46
17Stoffel VandoorneVANMcLaren Renault1:10.596+1.750s26
18Lance StrollSTRWilliams Mercedes1:10.662+1.816s44
19Brendon HartleyHARScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:10.734+1.888s46
20Nico HulkenbergHULRenault1:11.674+2.828s6