Max Verstappen was delighted with his opening day at the office in Barcelona, insisting his new Red Bull RB16 is “fast everywhere” around the Circuit de Catalunya.
Verstappen clocked in with the fourth fastest lap, just 0.540s off the days’ best time set by Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton. But the Dutchman was at the top of leader-board in terms of mileage, with 168 laps achieved on the day.
Despite a few inconsequential spins during the day, the 22-year-old appeared happy with his car’s performance.
“I touched once the gravel I think, that is why I spun,” he said. “And once I lost it in the second corner, so these things can happen trying to find the limits with the car and what we can do.
“Luckily no damage which at the end of the day is the most important thing.
“The car is fast everywhere, which is a good thing,” he added. “And the reliability seems even better, so that is all very positive.
“I think it’s been a good day. The car has been working really well together with the engine, and that is what we want to see. For us that is the most important.
“I am very happy about that. We just want to learn the car and try things on the car and see what we can do.”
Verstappen downplayed the gap to Mercedes’ pace setters Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, insisting Red Bull was focused first and foremost on its own programmes and performances.
“We’re not looking at that,” he said. “We just have to look at ourselves and focus on what we can improve.
“For us it was just about turning laps and testing different things. That’s what we did today.”