Verstappen bemoans ‘messy’ practice after Red Bull damage


Max Verstappen has conceded his opening day at the Australian Grand Prix was “messy” after picking up damage in first practice.

The F1 drivers’ champion finished FP1 and FP2 at Melbourne’s Albert Park second fastest despite issues across the two sessions.

Verstappen locked up several times under heavy breaking but the most costly error was when he ran wide at turn 10 in FP1, running over the raised kerb and causing damage.

Due to repairs required to the RB20, the Dutchman was confined to his garage for the opening 20 minutes of FP2 before making up for lost time later in the session.

“Unfortunately it was a little bit messy because of what happened in FP1,” said Verstappen in review, the Dutchman finishing just under four-tenths of a second behind pacesetter Charles Leclerc in his Ferrari.

“I went wide and damaged the floor, and also the chassis, so it took a little bit long to fix that unfortunately, so I lost like 20 minutes.

“But the turnaround was very quick as a team so I more or less completed the programme still.

“The long run, I would have liked maybe a few more laps but we were missing 20 minutes, that’s how it goes.”

‘Nothing crazy’

Verstappen has comfortably taken pole position in each of the opening two rounds of the new F1 season, yet Leclerc’s performance in second practice suggests a closer battle between Red Bull and Ferrari could be in store.

Addressing the qualifying pace shown during practice simulations, Verstappen said: “It was alright.

“I think Ferrari is quick but from our side, there are also a few more things that we can fine-tune.

“So nothing crazy and nothing worrying.”



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