Verstappen on Catalunya: “This is where a Formula 1 car comes alive”

Spread the love
Photo Credit: Red Bull Content Pool

Though the European triple-header has turned into a double-header, it’s been a busy few weeks for the F1 paddock.

Fresh from celebrating his Monaco GP victory, defending world champion Max Verstappen now has a different challenge on his hands, after the previous 3 races all being on street circuits, F1 returns to an actual circuit albeit in a slightly modified form than what the grid is used to.

Multiple teams, including Red Bull Racing are bringing upgrades this weekend, with the Milton Keynes-based team hoping to preserve their current advantage over the chasing pack.

Praise for his performance last time out continued to be heaped on the Dutchman at Thursday’s press conference, with Verstappen being asked whether he considered his Monaco weekend to be his best so far this season:

“I didn’t know. I mean, it was probably a good one. We knew that coming into the weekend, it was probably not going to be our strongest weekend on the calendar. But I think we still managed well. Qualifying was very close. But Monaco is always quite chaotic and hectic in Qualifying.”

He went on to discuss his extended stint on the mediums with Alonso behind waiting to pounce:

“But then in the race, I think we had to do of course, that very long stint on the Medium, which wasn’t planned, but we had to, so we just had to stay out there and wait for what Fernando behind me would do. And then, of course, the rain started to come down, it was all very chaotic, and it’s not the nicest thing to happen to you when you’re in the lead, and it starts raining. You don’t want to take too much risk, but you don’t want to lose too much time…”

Verstappen admitted he was glad to put the hustle and bustle of a Grand Prix weekend in Monte Carlo behind him and look ahead to Spain:

“Overall, it was a good race but also once I crossed the line, I was like, ‘I’m happy the weekend is over’. It’s very hectic and quite stressful. So I’m also looking forward to this weekend. It’s a proper race track and this is where a Formula 1 car comes alive.”

Verstappen’s sentiments regarding the Circuit de Catalunya seem to echo his fellow drivers amongst growing talk of a street race in Madrid replacing the Barcelona venue, with Nyck de Vries saying he “loves” the venue and Lewis Hamilton confessing he felt it important to keep some of the “classic circuits”.

When it comes to this weekend’s planned upgrades to the RB19, after Helmut Marko proclaiming the team would do “something different with the car”, the current championship leader wouldn’t be drawn on what this meant:

“I think Helmut got a bit excited as well. So I don’t know. I mean, we’ll just do our normal programme and nothing crazy.”

When asked if the circuit should suit his RB19, Verstappen replied simply; “it should do” before continuing: “we still need to find a good balance, but I think as long as we have a good balance in the car we can have a good weekend.”

With no circuit yet to not suit Adrian Newey’s latest creation, the real question this weekend is can any of the other teams reduce the gap to the runaway championship leaders.

Photo Credit: Red Bull Content Pool