The Red Bull upgrades on Saturday in Bahrain showed an encouraging step forward for the team but Max Verstappen says every team still has plenty of pace in hand.
Verstappen topped the times on the final day of Formula 1 pre-season testing in an updated RB18 that featured new sidepods as well as floor tweaks, going over half a second clear of the field using the softest tire compound available.
Despite the strong pace, Verstappen’s main takeaway was the progress made with Red Bull’s car development.
“Of course it’s best in low fuel, naturally on high fuel the car is lazy and doesn’t really do a lot,” Verstappen said. “That’s the same for everyone, but I think with the new parts which arrived today they also worked well, which you always hope for.
“Compared to Barcelona I think more of it is the track, the rough surface and the warmer conditions, with the layout of the track it makes it a completely different feeling compared to Barcelona. Of course we learned a lot more about the car and we made the car faster and I think that’s what you want.
“They (the upgrades) worked, so then hopefully we’ll keep them on.”
While Verstappen says he wasn’t in full qualifying specification for the late runs in the evening that saw him set the pace, he warns that all teams will have kept plenty of pace in hand.
“No it was just the general progression of the day and just trying a few different tires. But I think the main focus was also on the tires we are going to use next week. The car was feeling alright and we went through our program we planned to do and that’s always positive I think.
“Yeah but everyone (has more in the tank), nobody is full beans and qualifying spec at the moment.”