Verstappen: Hard to judge Red Bull progress after F1 shakedown run

Max Verstappen says it is hard to judge how much progress Red Bull has made with its new Formula 1 car after only completing a short test using demonstration tyres.

Listen to this article

Red Bull released images of the new RB16B car on Tuesday before completing a filming day with Verstappen and new team-mate Sergio Perez at Silverstone on Wednesday.

Intrigue has been fuelled by Red Bull’s decision not to issue any images of the 100km shakedown, with the team only releasing pictures of the 2019-spec RB15 being driven.

Asked about his first impressions of the car and whether it had addressed any areas of concern from last year, Verstappen said it was hard to draw any firm judgements form such a short run on Pirelli’s prescribed demonstration tyres.

“The thing is we drive on demo tyres, so it will never feel how it’s going to feel on real tyres,” said Verstappen. “I never really base a lot of my findings on this. It’s more just wanting to get the car out, run a few laps, and it all felt normal to me.

“We just need to wait and see what’s happening in Bahrain once we have proper tyres under the car. I just wanted to get the car out and run, do our 100km, then everyone has their data, I got back into a Formula 1 car.

“Then we move to Bahrain where the real work of course to try and find the optimum set-up on the car is happening with proper tyres, because these demo tyres, you can’t really read anything.”

Verstappen finished third in last year’s drivers’ championship with two race wins, including a dominant victory in the Abu Dhabi season finale. Although it was a strong finish that left Mercedes wary of the threat it would face in 2021, Red Bull had spent much of last year trying to overcome early-season issues with a skittish car.

Verstappen downplayed the RB16 being a tricky car to drive, saying “a fast car is never super easy to drive”, but noted that although Red Bull did make progress, Mercedes had stopped its own development very early.

Read Also:

“At the end of the season, Mercedes of course stopped developing that car from whenever, July, because you couldn't really see a lot of updates, and we just kept learning,” he said. “We know we had a few issues with that car, and we wanted to improve it, and also knowing that the regulations wouldn't change that much - the floor changed a bit, but in general, the car stayed pretty much the same.

“For us it was important to just get on top of that. And, yeah, let's see this year if we improved it even more and even better, and hopefully let's say more competitive compared to Mercedes.”

shares
comments

Related video

Red Bull's missing RB16B fuels tech secret intrigue
Previous article

Red Bull's missing RB16B fuels tech secret intrigue

Next article

Ricciardo: Sprint F1 races mustn’t devalue victory

Ricciardo: Sprint F1 races mustn’t devalue victory
Inside AlphaTauri’s Faenza F1 factory Prime

Inside AlphaTauri’s Faenza F1 factory

AlphaTauri’s mission in F1 is to sell clothes and train young drivers rather than win the championship – but you still need a cutting-edge factory to do that. Team boss Franz Tost takes GP Racing’s Oleg Karpov on a guided tour of a facility that’s continuing to grow.

Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons: Villeneuve and Leclerc Prime

Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons: Villeneuve and Leclerc

Gilles Villeneuve's exploits behind the wheel of a Ferrari made him a legend to the tifosi, even 40 years after his death. The team's current Formula 1 star Charles Leclerc enjoys a similar status, and recently got behind the wheel of a very special car from the French-Canadian’s career.

Formula 1
Jun 24, 2022
How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock Prime

How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock

Porpoising has become the key talking point during the 2022 Formula 1 season, as teams battle to come to terms with it. An FIA technical directive ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix and a second stay appearing on the Mercedes cars only served to create a bigger debate and raise tensions further

Formula 1
Jun 23, 2022
Does Max Verstappen have any weaknesses left? Prime

Does Max Verstappen have any weaknesses left?

Having extended his Formula 1 points lead with victory in Canada, Max Verstappen has raised his game further following his 2021 title triumph. Even on the days where Red Bull appears to be second best to Ferrari, Verstappen is getting the most out of the car in each race. So, does he have any weaknesses that his title rivals can exploit?

Formula 1
Jun 22, 2022
How F1's future fuels can shape the automotive sector Prime

How F1's future fuels can shape the automotive sector

In 2026, Formula 1 plans to make the switch to a fully sustainable fuel, as the greater automotive world considers its own alternative propulsion methods. Biogasoline and e-fuels both have merit as 'drop-in' fuels but, equally, both have their shortcomings...

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2022
The breakthrough behind Sainz's best weekend of F1 2022 so far Prime

The breakthrough behind Sainz's best weekend of F1 2022 so far

OPINION: Carlos Sainz came close to winning in Monaco but needed that race’s specific circumstances for his shot at a maiden Formula 1 victory to appear. Last weekend in Canada, he led the line for Ferrari in Charles Leclerc’s absence from the front. And there’s a key reason why Sainz has turned his 2022 form around

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2022
Why “faster” Ferrari couldn’t beat Red Bull in Canadian GP Prime

Why “faster” Ferrari couldn’t beat Red Bull in Canadian GP

On paper the Canadian Grand Prix will go down as Max Verstappen’s latest triumph, fending off late pressure from Carlos Sainz to extend his Formula 1 world championship lead. But as safety car periods, virtual and real, shook up the race Ferrari demonstrated it can take the fight to Red Bull after recent failures.

Formula 1
Jun 20, 2022
Canadian Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Prime

Canadian Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

Plenty of high scores but just a single perfect 10 from the first Montreal race in three years, as Max Verstappen fended off late pressure from Carlos Sainz. Here’s Autosport’s assessment on the Formula 1 drivers from the Canadian Grand Prix

Formula 1
Jun 20, 2022