At the Hungary Grand Prix, Max Verstappen dismisses Red Bull’s concerns about Lewis Hamilton’s speed.
In Friday’s second practice session at the Hungaroring, Max Verstappen was slower than Lewis Hamilton.
Max Verstappen is convinced that Red Bull will be able to resolve the issues that plagued Friday’s second practice session and challenge Lewis Hamilton in qualifying ahead of Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix. The Dutchman, who leads his Mercedes adversary by eight points in the Drivers’ Championship, is hoping to put the heartbreak of their high-speed crash at Silverstone earlier this month behind him and win in Budapest this weekend.
Verstappen got off to a strong start in FP1 by setting the fastest lap ahead of Valtteri Bottas, with Hamilton a tenth behind in third.
In FP2, though, the Red Bull driver was unable to keep up with his Mercedes teammates and was overheard moaning about understeer on his team radio.
Bottas won the session by nearly three tenths of a second over Verstappen, who was 0.271 seconds slower than Hamilton.
The difference between Mercedes and Red Bull was unexpected, given that the latter has had a performance advantage over its competitors from the start of the season.
When asked about his lack of speed in FP2, which saw track temperatures reach 62 degrees Celsius, Verstappen reminded reporters that there is still a lot of work to be done before Saturday’s qualifying session.
Despite his dissatisfaction with the vehicle, the 23-year-old blamed some of it on the scorching heat and assured that any improvements would be minor.
“I mean, nothing is too great to overcome,” Verstappen added.
“In general, with track temperatures like today, it hasn’t been an easy day, so we’ll look into that.
“We tried a few tweaks from FP1 to FP2, so we just need to figure out which ones worked and which ones didn’t.
“[We still need to improve] over one lap as well as the long run, so there are a lot of things to look at, but nothing shocking.”
During Friday’s practice sessions, Verstappen was not the only Red Bull driver that struggled; Sergio Perez was also off the pace.
In FP1, the 31-year-old was about a second slower than his teammate, and in FP2, he was over eight tenths slower than Bottas, finishing fifth and ninth, respectively.
After the lesson, Perez said that he wasn’t fully at ease behind the wheel. “Brinkwire News in Condensed Form.”