Max previews Bahrain GP: 'We can always improve'

Published on 28 March 2019 by Stefan Meens

Max Verstappen started his 2019 Formula 1 campaign with a third place at the season opener in Melbourne, Australia. On the eve of round two, the Bahrain Grand Prix, the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing driver is hungry for more: “We had a good start and I really enjoyed it. But we have to improve. I think that Mercedes were surprised by their own pace. Ferrari too, but unpleasantly surprised. We were sort of in the middle.”

This weekend’s race is contested on the Sakhir circuit, a track Max likes: “The second sector is nice; the chicane, hairpin, being late on the brakes. The track has a couple of nice bits where you can overtake. And the more top speed you have, the easier it is to get a tow, the easier it is to overtake. Last year I tried to out-brake people from afar, because otherwise you wouldn’t stand a chance. Mistakes can happen then. But now we should have better chances.”

One of the causes for the Dutchman’s optimism is the Honda power-unit in the back of the RB15: “Even before the pre-season, I was pretty confident because of the dyno results. During the tests it all felt good and we didn’t have many issues so I was already happy with what we had. Of course, you always have to wait how competitive we could be, but I think the outside world cared more about that. We were quietly confident in the package, and in particular the engine. I think we showed in Australia we can overtake Ferrari on-track.”

Max concludes: “Melbourne is a bit of odd track. Here in Bahrain, and next in China, we should have a better idea where things stand. I don’t know where we are, we’ll find out. We know we have to do better to really make a step forward. That’s what we’re focussing on, because we can always improve.”

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