Max Verstappen Off To Slow Start In Home Race

ZANDVOORT, NETHERLANDS - SEPTEMBER 03: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Red Bull Racing RB16B Honda during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of The Netherlands at Circuit Zandvoort on September 03, 2021 in Zandvoort, Netherlands. (image courtesy Red Bull Racing)

Max Verstappen enjoyed the opening day of action in front of his home fans at Zandvoort, even if his compromised laps show him being a little off the pace of the front runners Ferrari.

“It’s been a good day and it was really enjoyable to see everyone in orange having fun in the grandstands. Of course the track is also very fun to drive with a lot of fast corners so it was good to finally get out there. From our side I don’t think the lap times are very representative today as I did my fastest lap on a used set of tyres. I was improving on another push lap and then Mazepin had a spin otherwise I think we would be higher up but it’s only Friday and we’re still looking at all the details of where we can do better and improve. The long runs looked competitive which is positive but we also know that the start position is very important here so we’ll see what we can do to get more pace out of the car overnight,” said Verstappen.

For Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez, it was a tricky yet enjoyable day out, with multiple red flags meaning the Mexican couldn’t gain the confidence he needed to really push on the tight and twisty circuit.

“It was awesome to get out there and drive this old school circuit. It’s very different to the other tracks we go to and with so many consecutive right-hand corners it’s a pretty unique and physical challenge. I’ve never driven here before so it’s completely new and with so many red flags it was difficult to get into a rhythm. You really need the confidence going into the session to trust the car in order to push it and I wasn’t quite there or fully comfortable today so there are a couple of things on my side that we need to look at and make some decisions on in order to get the most out of the package. It’s amazing to see so many fans enjoying themselves and cheering in the grandstands so I expect the energy around the track to only get better and better over the weekend,” added Perez.

ZANDVOORT, NETHERLANDS - SEPTEMBER 03: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Red Bull Racing RB16B Honda during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of The Netherlands at Circuit Zandvoort on September 03, 2021 in Zandvoort, Netherlands. (image courtesy Red Bull Racing)
ZANDVOORT, NETHERLANDS – SEPTEMBER 03: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Red Bull Racing RB16B Honda during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of The Netherlands at Circuit Zandvoort on September 03, 2021 in Zandvoort, Netherlands. (image courtesy Red Bull Racing)

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