Formula 1 Racing

Red Bull’s gap to rivals in Jeddah “definitely not like Bahrain”

Red Bull's gap to rivals in Jeddah "definitely not like Bahrain"

Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez believe their rivals will be closer to them this weekend than in Bahrain based on long-run pace in second practice.

Verstappen topped both sessions with Perez setting the second quickest time in the early session and the third-fastest time in second practice. Despite backing up his race winning start to the season in Bahrain with the fastest time on Friday, Verstappen expects the field will be closer at the front this weekend.

“We had a positive day, but I think there’s still quite a few things I think we can do better.” Verstappen said.

“The long run, I think it all seemed fairly close to each other, but it’s more because of just managing the tyres. Because they don’t really let you push around here at the moment. So with a low-deg[redation] circuit, I think the lap times are all very close. So it’s definitely not like Bahrain.”

Verstappen complained on his radio about his car’s downshifts during the second session. Asked about what the problem had been, Verstappen insisted it was “just fine-tuning things with the downshifts. We do that all the time.”

Despite appearing to have another strong day of practice, Perez revealed he had been battling an undisclosed car problem during the evening session.

“We had a bit of an issue with the car mechanically, which hopefully we are able to sort out for tomorrow,” he said. “That will bring us a bit more pace, hopefully.

“At least we can have a better idea on where the car is. It was a bit of inconsistency and difficult to get a proper read today. Overall we seem to be strong, but the competition is there as expected.”

Asked if Verstappen was his main rival for victory this weekend, Perez said “hopefully, yes.”

“That will mean that we are in a very strong position,” he continued. “But I do expect a few of the rival teams to step up tomorrow.”

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