Max after first day in Bahrein: 'I'll be off to the moon'
Published on 26 March 2021 by Stefan Meens
Max Verstappen caught up with Ziggo Sport’s Olav Mol to reflect on Friday practice of the Bahrain Grand Prix as well as to look ahead to the rest of the race weekend at the Bahrain International Circuit.
Did you have a fun day? “Yes, it was a good day. It wasn’t easy because of the wind and the track temperatures, but it’s the same for everyone”, explains Max.
For race day, strong winds are predicted. Does it affect the way the cars drive? Max: "Yes, the cars are not easy to drive in the wind anyway, so it’ll be exciting. We had it before and it’s not fun to drive, but we’ll just have to get on with it. It’ll always pop up somewhere where you don’t want it.”
For the 2021 season, the Friday free practice sessions have been shortened to an hour per session, instead of the 90 minutes previously, which meant it was a lot busier on track. “Yes, it was constant action. Normally you’d wait ten, fifteen minutes, but now everyone has to go out to get that long run in. I don’t mind. I think an hour is enough to try some things.
Honda’s Tanabe-san said the new power-unit is smaller and more compact meaning Red Bull has been able to build a better car. He said they have taken a step forward with the engine. Is that something you can feel in the car? “Absolutely, if they turn the wings around, I’ll fly the car straight to the moon”, laughs Max.
Your last race was won from pole position. Is going for pole more important than ever? Max: “It’s always nice to start from pole, it’s easier and it usually means you have the quickest car if you can do it several times. But this really is a circuit where you really need a good car in qualifying, but if you don’t have it sorted in the race, the tyres will wear really quickly so you have to find a good balance. It’s difficult to overtake here, so the long run pace is very important.”