Red Bull’s Max Verstappen has revealed that he is “still looking around for improvements” after enduring a difficult Friday Practice at 2021 Turkish Grand Prix.
Verstappen finished second in FP1 with 1m 24.603 but could only find 0.164 seconds in FP2 on his best FP1 time, as he slipped to fifth behind teammate – Sergio Perez.
Balance issues and vibrations however affected the 24 year-old throughout both sessions, as Verstappen explained: “We tried a few different things going from FP1 to FP2 but we’re still looking around for improvements as we don’t have a lot of data on these cars for this track.”
Verstappen though felt that “today wasn’t the best of days” even despite his title rival – Lewis Hamilton being handed a ten-place grid penalty for changing his Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) element of his power unit, which took the Brit beyond his permitted allowance of three ICEs.
Looking ahead to tomorrow with Hamilton’s penalty in mind, Verstappen iterated that he must focus on himself with a view to making “improvements before qualifying tomorrow as we have some challenges, we’ll see what we can do.”
Perez meanwhile enjoyed a rare “positive” Friday Practice at the track where he finished second for Racing Point last season.
The Mexican though was “surprised” by the amount of grip after teams faced low grip conditions last year, although he warned that the track “is still very challenging because the grip is not consistent.”
Perez also noted how “strong” Mercedes look after dominating both sessions but is hopeful that he and Verstappen “are able to chip away a couple of tenths and be in the mix for tomorrow.”
Explaining what he expects to be the key difference if they’re to make a breakthrough, Perez said: “It is all about compromise because if you try and get the ideal balance for qualifying over one lap then you compromise the long run pace a bit, which is important here because overtaking is relatively easy.”