Although he had the best times in the first two free practice sessions on Friday at the Styrian Grand Prix, Max Verstappen is confident that he will have a fierce opponent (Lewis Hamilton) this weekend. Verstappen’s second free practice ended with a time of 1: 05.412 and he sat at the top of the standings, while Hamilton’s fastest lap was almost four-tenths slower, which is quite a bit on such a short track as the Red Bull Ring.
However, Hamilton drove a better lap in the same training in a time of 1: 05,335. The referees annulled his time for going out of bounds with all four wheels in turn number 10. “In the second practice, Lewis was faster, but his time was annulled,” the Red Bull driver commented.
"That's why I think the real situation is a little different than it seems at the moment." "It was pretty good for us overall. Of course, there are some more things we want to see, but overall I'm pretty happy with where our car is at the moment.
Asked if he expects a close fight on Saturday against his main rival in the championship, Max replied: “Clear. If he could have set such a time already in Q2, I'm sure he will be in the qualifiers… Well, we have to wait and see what the weather will be like, but I think it will be very tight.
” Sergio Perez was quite behind his teammate in training on Friday. The second practice ended in ninth place with a lap almost seven-tenths slower. Still, he's not worried. "For our part, we still have to find the ideal settings.
I seem to have these problems in training. I’m not quite comfortable in the car, then we head in a certain direction, which is probably not the right direction." "Still, I think we have good speed. The speed in the long runs was promising, so if we can find those few tenths overnight, we will be in a fight on Saturday.
” "I am not worried at all. Clearly, finding a few tenths here makes a big difference, but I hope we will be in the mix tomorrow in the qualifiers and manage to drive a great lap in Q3, ”said the Mexican. This year we have a big fight between Red Bull and Mercedes, and there will be more excitement until the end of the season