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Max ninth after Friday practice: 'I went wide at turn 10'

Published on 07 May 2021 by Stefan Meens

Max Verstappen finished Friday practice of the Spanish Grand Prix in ninth. Mercedes lapped the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya quickest with Lewis Hamilton leading Valtteri Bottas. Charles Leclerc impressed in third in his Ferrari, as the Alpines of Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon completed the top five.

“I went wide in turn ten”, explained Max after FP2. “In general we had a reasonable day. The car looks pretty competitive so I’m looking forward to tomorrow to try and improve a bit more. So it wasn’t a shocking day to be honest.”

“We look competitive, but we’ll find out how competitive tomorrow. But from our side, we’re pretty happy. Of course, you always want to improve and do better, but we just have to make sure we’re at the sharp end tomorrow.”

Asked about the alterations at turn ten, Max was honest: “I think its better if you want to do a fast lap; it’s quicker and more fun. But it’s not better for overtaking.”

Max starts the second Friday practice session on a set of the medium Pirelli tyre compound. During his first run, he sets two purple sectors on his way to the quickest time thus far, followed by the two Mercedes. Shortly after, and for the remainder of the session, the two silver arrows become the benchmark, with Bottas deposing Max at the top of the standings.

On the medium tyres, Max continues to better his time. Nevertheless, he is unable to match the cars on soft tyres that are focussed on qualifying simulations.

The Mercedes set the pace with, first, Bottas lapping quickest, followed by Hamilton clocking the best time of the day.

With just over half an hour to go, Max starts his first run on the soft Pirellis. On his first flying lap, a mistake in turn ten leads the Dutchman to abort his lap. After a further couple of laps on the same tyre, Max heads back to garage, meaning he remains at the tail end of the top ten.

In the final part of FP2, most teams have switched to long runs, meaning lap times are no longer bettered, thus resulting in the Mercedes topping the leader boards and Max settling for P9.

Contest GP Spain: win a by Max signed Red Bull Racing driver cap

Results second free practice Spain:

1Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:18.170 32
2Valtteri BottasBOTMercedes1:18.309+0.139s31
3Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:18.335+0.165s28
4Esteban OconOCOAlpine Renault1:18.466+0.296s29
5Fernando AlonsoALOAlpine Renault1:18.518+0.348s30
6Pierre GaslyGASAlphaTauri Honda1:18.593+0.423s32
7Yuki TsunodaTSUAlphaTauri Honda1:18.619+0.449s30
8Carlos SainzSAIFerrari1:18.674+0.504s30
9Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda1:18.785+0.615s26
10Sergio PerezPERRed Bull Racing Honda1:18.918+0.748s23
11Sebastian VettelVETAston Martin Mercedes1:18.947+0.777s30
12Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Mercedes1:19.092+0.922s28
13Antonio GiovinazziGIOAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:19.122+0.952s29
14Lance StrollSTRAston Martin Mercedes1:19.134+0.964s29
15Daniel RicciardoRICMcLaren Mercedes1:19.195+1.025s28
16Kimi RäikkönenRAIAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:19.213+1.043s30
17George RussellRUSWilliams Mercedes1:19.957+1.787s29
18Nicholas LatifiLATWilliams Mercedes1:20.046+1.876s26
19Mick SchumacherMSCHaas Ferrari1:20.326+2.156s30
20Nikita MazepinMAZHaas Ferrari1:20.753+2.583s27