Red Bull’s Max Verstappen is unhappy with a ‘mess’ of Friday Practice at 2021 US Grand Prix.
Verstappen finished third in FP1 after struggling with adapting to the Circuit of the Americas’ bumpy track surface, in which he was 0.932 seconds slower than Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas’ fastest effort.
FP2 then saw Verstappen encounter traffic issues as he first went too slow on an outlap early in the session and was overtaken by title rival, Lewis Hamilton into the final corner before further traffic issues saw the Dutchman abandon his Qualifying simulation and finished eighth fastest.
Explaining what went wrong in FP2, Verstappen said: “In FP2, we didn’t manage to put the lap in on the soft tyre and it was also just a bit of a mess with the traffic. Hopefully everything will come together tomorrow so we can get a good lap in qualifying.”
Verstappen though is keen to focus on making crucial overnight changes as he said: “Overall it wasn’t easy out there today, the track is quite bumpy and to find the right compromise on the car hasn’t been the easiest but there are a few positive things to look at and we’ll continue to work on that overnight.”
Just to add further irritation for Verstappen, his teammate – Sergio Perez topped FP2 with the Mexican feeling that his performance is “promising” but predicts a “very tight” qualifying due to Mercedes looking “very strong” on pace.
Explaining what he feels he needs to do to put himself in with a shot at pole, Perez added: “I think we have to find a couple of tenths and put everything together to be in the mix for pole.”
Perez though is slightly worried about his race pace as he confessed that “there is some margin to improve our long run pace and our tyre degradation” ahead of the race on Sunday (24 October).