Max second after Friday practice in Portugal: 'It was tricky'
Published on 30 April 2021 by Stefan Meens
Max Verstappen finished Friday practice of the Portuguese Grand Prix in second place. Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton was quickest with Mercedes team mate Valtteri Bottas completing the top three.
“It was tricky because of the slippery surface. I know it’s the same for everyone but it was super slippery and it’s not nice to drive on”, said Max after FP2. “The car felt good, but we still have some work to do, but generally speaking it feels good.”
He added: “The conditions are similar to last year, but the tyres have changed, and we’ve lost a bit of grip due to the cars having changed. It’s tricky out there and that’s a shame, because this track is amazing. It’s all about tyre temperature and it shouldn’t be that way.”
Looking ahead to the rest of the weekend, Max said: “It’s too early to make predictions about the race. We can go a bit quicker and our long run wasn’t bad. However, the balance over a quick lap was not optimal. We’ll see what we can do about that tomorrow.”
When the track is cleared and the pit lane opens, the teams rush out. Within two minutes, all drivers are out on track, all sporting the medium Pirelli tyres.
Max looks to set the pace but informs the team of a brake-by-wire issue, after which he is called back to the garage.
After twenty minutes, Max is back on track, again on the mediums. He is immediately on the pace, clocking the fastest lap. Sadly, he cannot enjoy the top spot for long as Bottas pips the Red Bull Racer with a quick lap on the soft Pirellis.
Just after the halfway point, Max also decides to bolt on the softs. His first flying lap lifts him from P6 to second. On his second attempt, he is unable to best his previous effort, meaning the Dutchman remains in second, sandwiched between the Mercedes of Hamilton (P1) and Bottas (P3).
In the remaining quarter of the session, the focus turns to long runs, meaning lap times are not bettered and the top three remains Hamilton, Max and Bottas.
|2||Max Verstappen||VER||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:19.980||+0.143s||26|
|5||Fernando Alonso||ALO||Alpine Renault||1:20.220||+0.383s||32|
|6||Esteban Ocon||OCO||Alpine Renault||1:20.235||+0.398s||31|
|8||Daniel Ricciardo||RIC||McLaren Mercedes||1:20.418||+0.581s||31|
|9||Lance Stroll||STR||Aston Martin Mercedes||1:20.427||+0.590s||31|
|10||Sergio Perez||PER||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:20.516||+0.679s||28|
|11||Pierre Gasly||GAS||AlphaTauri Honda||1:20.558||+0.721s||34|
|12||Lando Norris||NOR||McLaren Mercedes||1:20.757||+0.920s||28|
|13||George Russell||RUS||Williams Mercedes||1:20.976||+1.139s||32|
|14||Yuki Tsunoda||TSU||AlphaTauri Honda||1:21.053||+1.216s||33|
|15||Sebastian Vettel||VET||Aston Martin Mercedes||1:21.074||+1.237s||32|
|16||Kimi Räikkönen||RAI||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:21.225||+1.388s||22|
|17||Antonio Giovinazzi||GIO||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:21.238||+1.401s||32|
|18||Mick Schumacher||MSC||Haas Ferrari||1:21.537||+1.700s||29|
|19||Nicholas Latifi||LAT||Williams Mercedes||1:21.855||+2.018s||31|
|20||Nikita Mazepin||MAZ||Haas Ferrari||1:22.638||+2.801s||28|