Verstappen: We have a good racing car

Few would have bet against Max Verstappen on pole position for the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, but he was beaten by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, but the Red Bull ace is convinced the RB18 is a good one. racing car for its Sunday trip.

After setting the pace for most of this weekend, we headlined the Bahrain qualifying preview: Who can beat Max Verstappen? Leclerc is the answer, at least for now in qualifying.

Summarizing his session in parc fermé, Verstappen told reporters: “Q2 looked good, Q3 was a bit more difficult but that’s okay, we have a good race car which at the end of the day is the most difficult thing. important. It’s a good start for the new era. There are some things to check and we’ll try to do better next time.

“You want to be good in qualifying, but make sure the car works in the race and it’s a bit different from some other tracks. It was a really good battle with Charles and Carlos, so they did really good. work this winter.

Verstappen: The Ferraris are very close and it’s going to be an uphill battle

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In the team report, he later added: “Overall not a bad position, of course you always want more but it’s a good start to the season. It was a little more risky without really finding the right balance.

“There was oversteer and understeer, so you can’t really attack the corner, which makes it quite difficult to pull off that lap, so that’s something we’ll have to look at.

“Ferrari are of course very close and it’s going to be an uphill battle, they have two strong drivers so it’s going to be exciting.

“The weather is supposed to be warmer [on Sunday] so it will be a bit harder on the tyres. As a team we just have to see how competitive we are in the race, it’s a long season and a lot can happen, ”added the world champion who launches into the defense of his first crown in F1.

Perez: I just couldn’t get one hundred percent out of the car

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In the sister car, Sergio Perez was just under a quarter of a second behind Verstappen but still good enough for third place and good reason for the Mexican veteran to be confident: “I’m optimistic and in the race anything can arrive.

“I just couldn’t get one hundred percent out of the car, but we still have a good starting position and hopefully we can make up some positions on race day. It’s great to having other teams up there to make things more competitive, but the road is long and what matters is the race.

“I think P3 was possible if we had everything set up and I was able to do that last corner again, I ran a bit too much on the pavement. It would have been nice to start on the clean side of the grid , but a lot of overflow can happen here.

“Hopefully we can fight the Ferraris and have a good race for the fans. I’m looking forward to it, I want a good lap and a good pace. My target is at least to get on the podium and finish “get a one, two for the team. We are in a good position to fight Ferrari,” added the 32-year-old.

Perez is entering his second season as a Red Bull driver and will make his 214th start in the top flight when he lines up for the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday.