Max Verstappen points to a lack of top speed as Red Bull’s weakness at the Canadian Grand Prix after finishing fastest in both of Friday’s practice sessions.
Renault has brought a power unit upgrade to Montreal, but Mercedes and Ferrari made up the top three through the speed trap in sectors one and two on Friday, with Verstappen second quickest to Kimi Raikkonen in sector three. Verstappen says the deficit was bigger on high fuel in FP2, but is encouraged by the rest of Red Bull’s performance so far.
“It was a good day,” Verstappen said. “The car is working well but we’re still lacking a bit of top speed. We could see that in the long runs. Especially Mercedes they’re looking very quick there. But I think we are not too far away so just general it was a positive day.
“It was a good day. The car is working well. We didn’t need to change a lot initially, the car was well set-up and we could do our whole program and we look quite competitive, but we have to wait and see for tomorrow.”
While Verstappen topped the times, his teammate Daniel Ricciardo spent much of FP2 in the garage. Although he played down the significance of his reliability issues, Ricciardo similarly highlighted Mercedes as having shown impressive performance on harder compound tires on Friday.
“Not related to MGU-K,” Ricciardo said of his lack of running. “Some electrical stuff going on. It hindered us this morning, and this afternoon. Not the best day but we are OK. Max had the pace so I think there is a bit for us to learn.
“But Merc are going to be quick tomorrow for sure. I’d say that they are the ones to beat at the moment. So hopefully I’ll have a smooth day tomorrow and I will try to get a bit more laps and a bit more pace.
“We did not have the smoothest day. We had some issues morning and afternoon. We got a few laps at the end there so I did enough to feel what the car was like. I know the direction I want personally for the set-up, so we learned a little bit. It was a bit frustrating, not too many laps, but hopefully tomorrow is smoother and we can make some progress.”