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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Verstappen not “as comfy” at Suzuka as in earlier F1 races

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The Suzuka weekend has unfolded unusually, with FP2 successfully being washed out by drizzle, which meant the groups spent most of FP3 on Saturday morning concentrating on long-run information gathering, fairly than the standard qualifying simulation efforts.

In these, Verstappen trailed his team-mate Sergio Perez by a mean of 0.122 seconds every time, whereas each had been trumped by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc on the same stint-length to the tune of a 0.482s common benefit utilizing the medium tyres which can be anticipated to be the important thing compound for race technique.

Verstappen in the end beat Perez to pole in Suzuka qualifying, whereas Leclerc may solely handle eighth, 4 spots behind Carlos Sainz within the different SF-23.

When requested by Autosport if he was stunned to see Ferrari fall from the pole battle it has engaged Purple Bull in on the earlier early 2024 rounds, Verstappen replied: “I can not look contained in the Ferrari storage [and say] why that’s.

“However, it is fairly apparent that in the long term, they appear fairly aggressive. So, we’ll see tomorrow why that’s or if it truly is the case like that.

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“From our facet, I’ve some concepts of what we have now to look into to make tomorrow higher and that is what we already modified [on car set-up] after FP3.

‘So, hopefully, that will likely be higher for tomorrow. Our race tempo continues to be not too dangerous, but it surely’s not how I’ve been feeling in a few of the races this yr and final yr. As comfy, for example like that.

Pole man Max Verstappen, Purple Bull Racing, in Parc Ferme

Picture by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

“However, hopefully with the adjustments that we made it is going to be higher.”

Verstappen stated he additionally felt McLaren appeared “fairly first rate” on long-run potential at Suzuka and added that he was “simply not very proud of myself – with how my long term was” in FP3, the place he complained about an understeer steadiness aboard his RB20.

“So, naturally, everybody else seems a bit higher,” he continued.

Verstappen additionally said that his obvious struggles on long-run tempo left “a query mark going into [the race] tomorrow”.

He added: “Particularly [concerning] Ferrari – they appear very comfy.

“Perhaps they weren’t so fast over one lap right this moment, however they had been undoubtedly quick within the lengthy runs. So, we’ll have to attend and see how that can unfold tomorrow within the race.”

However Sainz insists Ferrari’s lengthy runs – which Purple Bull has been involved about since FP1 on Friday morning – “will not be higher” when the caveats regarding engine modes and gasoline hundreds are taken into consideration.

Pole man Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, receives the Pirelli Pole Position Award from Jean Alesi

Pole man Max Verstappen, Purple Bull Racing, receives the Pirelli Pole Place Award from Jean Alesi

Picture by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

“It is simply, I feel, most likely we’re a bit lighter,” Sainz added. “They at all times run actually gradual on Fridays, it at all times seems like we’re gonna beat them on Sunday, after which they put 20 seconds on us.

“They’re at all times tremendous fast on Sundays and I feel they sandbag a bit on the lengthy runs as a result of they know it is their power.

“Perhaps we’re a bit nearer [compared to 2023 where the lead Ferrari driver, Leclerc, finished 44s adrift in Verstappen’s Suzuka victory], but it surely’s nonetheless… it is not like we’re gonna discover half a second tomorrow when it comes to tempo.”

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