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Max after Friday practice: 'In general a good day'

Published on 25 August 2023 by Stefan Meens

After setting the quickest time in the opening practice session, Max Verstappen had to settle for second in FP2 of the Dutch Grand Prix. Lando Norris was quickest in the McLaren, with the Williams of Alex Albon completing the top three. Max’ Oracle Red Bull Racing team mate Sergio Perez clocked the seventh fastest time.

“It was pretty good”, said Max after his first day back behind the wheel of the RB19. “FP2 was a bit more difficult. It wasn’t easy to get a clean lap. There are a few things we want to improve but over the long runs the car was pretty good.”

“I wasn’t totally happy with the balance in the corners, but that’s something we have to solve for tomorrow, but in general it was a good day.” 

Looking ahead to tomorrow’s qualifying, Max said: “I think we should be fine. The car has a lot of potential and we should have a good day tomorrow. We still need to do a bit of fine tuning but I’m confident we’ll be there.”

First out on track are the two Alfa Romeos, quickly followed by all the other drivers, bar Max and Kevin Magnussen. When the former does venture out, he does so on the medium Pirelli compound and immediately sets the quickest lap thus far.

A few minutes later, the two Australians on the grid cause a red flag. Oscar Piastri spins in the Hugenholz corner and ends up in the barriers. About half a minute later, the AlphaTauri of Daniel Ricciardo ends up in the wall next to Piastri’s McLaren. Both Aussies have sufficiently damaged their cars that they are unable to drive back to the pits, thus prompting a red flag.

The session resumes with 37 mins on the clock, with more and more drivers turning their attention to qualifying simulations. Lando Norris sets the pace on the red-walled soft Pirellis with Max attempting to topple the McLaren. His first effort is hampered by oversteer on the entry to turn three, Hugenholz, resulting in a lap time two tenths off Norris’. Max’ second attempt is better, but still two hundredths shy of the McLaren.

In the remainder of the session, the teams switch to long runs, meaning Norris’ time is not beaten and it is the papaya of McLaren that colours the top of the timing sheets.

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Results second free practice Netherlands:

1Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Mercedes1:11.330 29
2Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT1:11.353+0.023s25
3Alexander AlbonALBWilliams Mercedes1:11.599+0.269s30
4Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:11.638+0.308s26
5Yuki TsunodaTSUAlphaTauri Honda RBPT1:11.720+0.390s30
6Pierre GaslyGASAlpine Renault1:11.766+0.436s29
7Sergio PerezPERRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT1:11.817+0.487s28
8Lance StrollSTRAston Martin Mercedes1:11.835+0.505s30
9Valtteri BottasBOTAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:11.857+0.527s30
10Fernando AlonsoALOAston Martin Mercedes1:11.863+0.533s30
11Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:11.915+0.585s29
12Logan SargeantSARWilliams Mercedes1:11.934+0.604s31
13Esteban OconOCOAlpine Renault1:12.001+0.671s29
14George RussellRUSMercedes1:12.009+0.679s27
15Zhou GuanyuZHOAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:12.074+0.744s29
16Carlos SainzSAIFerrari1:12.093+0.763s30
17Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari1:12.404+1.074s27
18Nico HulkenbergHULHaas Ferrari1:12.693+1.363s30
19Oscar PiastriPIAMcLaren Mercedes1:12.901+1.571s6
20Daniel RicciardoRICAlphaTauri Honda RBPT1:13.096+1.766s7