Max Verstappen says the new Red Bull RB16 is “faster everywhere” after completing significant mileage on the opening day of pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Wednesday’s running was uninterrupted and allowed Verstappen to complete over 2.5 race distances as he racked up 168 laps, finishing fourth quickest. Although he had two spins, Verstappen was encouraged by the performance of the car and says Red Bull has moved forward on all fronts.
“We definitely have improved the car in areas we wanted to,” Verstappen said. “We did a lot of laps to test all the parts out and see where we can improve it further.
“It’s been a good day and the car has been working really well together with the engine. That’s what we want to see and that’s the most important thing. I’m very happy about that — we just want to learn the car, try things on the car and look through the data and see what we can improve. It’s been a long day — first time back in the car so of course your neck is going to be stiff.
“The car is faster everywhere, which is a good thing, and the reliability seems even better. So that’s all very positive.”
Verstappen’s two spins both came at Turn 13, with the first one clearly caused by dipping his outside wheels in the gravel at turn-in. Despite suffering two of the bigger incidents on an otherwise drama-free day, the Dutchman says it is a sign of exploring the car’s capabilities.
“I touched the gravel and that’s why I spun (the first time). Then the other one at the same corner… Those things can happen when you are trying to see the limits of what the car can do. Luckily there was no damage, which is the most important thing.”