In a circuit with great overtaking opportunities, the Bulls took on a hot Friday morning to a couple of free practices that turned out to deliver great results for both. FP1 ended with Verstappen taking P3, while his teammate finished 4 places behind in P7.
For FP2 in the afternoon, both drivers headed out on track as soon as the session went live, which was a good move. Sergio Pérez took home first place, while teammate Verstappen ended up out of the top five, on P8.
“Today was a good day and FP2 was promising, but it’s going to be very tight in qualifying tomorrow,” the Mexican driver said at the end of the day.
"Mercedes were certainly very strong so let’s see what they have when it counts. I think we have to find a couple of tenths and put everything together to be in the mix for pole.
“There’s a lot to be done now with the engineers to try and improve the car, I think there is some margin to improve our long run pace and our tyre degradation, but all in all it was a positive Friday,” he added.
Meanwhile, Verstappen expressed his discomfort:
“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.
“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.”
We will have to wait and see qualifying’s results on a track where the Red Bull team was expected to deliver.