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Max finishes Austin free practice 1 in tenth

Published on 31 October 2014 by Stefan Meens

After his Formula 1 début during the weekend of the Japanese Grand Prix, Max Verstappen travelled to Austin for his second official Formula 1 outing in the first free practice session of the American Grand Prix. The 17-year-old Dutchman put in an excellent shift in his Scuderia Toro Rosso completing 32 laps, finishing the session in tenth with a 1:41.785.

“It was great that we managed to clock plenty of laps without any issues. Nonetheless, I struggled with my tyres, which seemed to wear quickly. Just when they were operating at their peak, I experienced oversteer, which meant the rears wore too fast. Despite the fact I could've set a faster lap time, I’m still pleased with the gained experience", says Max to

Free practice 1 kicks off after a rain shower has made the track damp. Therefore, Max completes his installation lap on intermediates before switching to slicks for the remainder of the session and after his first long run and ten laps on the clock, Max sits in P11.
Max: “The Circuit of the Americas is not an easy track. Especially in the first sector, with its rapid succession of fast corners, it's important to find the right rhythm. However, it is a fantastic circuit to drive.”

After a quick visit to the pits, Max heads out for another ten lap stint in which he sets his fastest lap of the day, at that moment granting him eighth. Scuderia Toro Rosso regular Daniil Kvyat is also putting in some good laps, occupying third at one point.
During his third and final run, like most of the drivers, Max does not improve his lap time. This means the youngster finishes his second FP1 outing in a decent tenth spot.

Meanwhile at the front, McLaren, with Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen, dominated the pace in the early stages of the session. Nevertheless, it was business as usual as Mercedes-duo Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg claimed P1 and P2 at the end of the 90 minutes. Daniil Kvyat finished the session in fourth, lapping the Circuit of the Americas nine tenths quicker than Max.

Max: “I hadn’t been in the car since Japan so it took a little bit of time to get used to things. When I started to go faster and faster, my rear tyres were wearing quickly which was a bit tricky. It means I have to learn more about the tyres and how to extract the maximum performance out of them.”

Overall though, Verstappen junior is fairly pleased. “I'm getting to know the car better each time. The more I drive it, the more I feel it suits me. So far we haven’t really worked on the set-up as our focus remains putting in a lot laps. I'm fairly satisfied with my lap time but there's always room for improvement. But I don’t have to be at my peak until Melbourne, so I've got plenty of time”, concludes a realistic Max.

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FIA Formula 1 World Championship Round 17 – Circuit of the Americas, United States – Friday 31 October:
Results free practice 1
Lap times free practice 1