Verstappen 'pretty pleased' with opening day of running

Red Bull's Max Verstappen had no serious complaints to formulate after his opening day of practice at Mugello,... The post Verstappen 'pretty pleased' with opening day of running appeared first on F1i.com.

Verstappen 'pretty pleased' with opening day of running

Red Bull's Max Verstappen had no serious complaints to formulate after his opening day of practice at Mugello, the Dutchman concluding FP2 behind the leading Mercedes duo.

Verstappen was pleased with the overall performance of Red Bull's RB16 around Mugello's medium and high-speed corners, a layout that appears to suit his car much better than Spa and Monza's low downforce profiles.

"We can be pretty pleased with how the car is behaving and I think it was a good first day at Mugello," Verstappen said.

"We are not too far off Mercedes which is a good thing and also balance wise, there are always things that can be improved, but overall I was pretty pleased."

Like his colleagues, Verstappen gave F1's new venue a big thumbs up.

"This is a very cool track to drive in an F1 car with so many fast corners and to be able to take Arrabbiata 1 and 2 flat out easily is quite incredible and really enjoyable to drive," he said.

"It is pretty physical and I felt alright today but of course 59 laps in a row in the heat is not going to be easy. I like a bit of a challenge and we shouldn’t complain as we train hard to sit in these cars and we should just enjoy it.

"In terms of tyres, I expected it to be worse so let’s see how they hold up over the rest of the weekend.

"The track is my type of track - really flowing with no slow corners, so I’m looking forward to doing more laps."

Alex Albon clocked in fourth in Friday afternoon's session, 0.736s behind his teammate. But the British-Thai racer was also satisfied with his first day at the office.

"It’s been a good day and this track is just so fun to drive," he explained.

"It’s super quick and there’s not much room for error, like we saw with Lando, which adds to the excitement as a driver.

"It’s a high energy circuit and from Turns 1 to 15, the car is completely different. It’s physical and you do feel it, especially through Turns 8 and 9, it’s just pure neck and it’s good fun.

"Performance-wise, I think we’re relatively happy, of course there are still some areas to find a bit more balance in the car but coming from Monza where we were struggling, today has been good.

"The tyres seem to be holding up in the heat and the softs are performing well so it’s looking reasonable out there but I think we’re going to see a few pit stops across the field come Sunday."

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Perez hit with one-place grid drop for Raikkonen crash

Sergio Perez has been handed a one-place grid penalty by the Tuscan Grand Prix stewards following his contact... The post Perez hit with one-place grid drop for Raikkonen crash appeared first on F1i.com.

Perez hit with one-place grid drop for Raikkonen crash

Sergio Perez has been handed a one-place grid penalty by the Tuscan Grand Prix stewards following his contact with Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen in FP2.

Perez was exiting the pitlane when he was overtaken by Raikkonen on the entry to Turn 1. When the Finn turned into the corner, Perez just tagged the Alfa which sent the Finn into the gravel.

The session was red-flagged but both drivers were forced to retreat to their respective garage to conduct repairs.

Perez's maneuver was investigated after the session by the stewards, with the Racing Point charger arguing that he could only follow one line into the corner, a mitigating argument that the stewards considered.

"It's very narrow and long, the pit lane exit," Perez said.

"It's obviously the first time we are here. [The stewards] think that it should be changed, the pit lane exit, because it goes far too long.

"It doesn't give you an angle when you are in the pit lane exit, so that can cause a bit of an accident."

However, the Mexican was held accountable for the mishap and handed a one-place grid drop for Sunday's race.

©F1

"The Driver of Car 11 was warned by his team of the approach of Car 7 [Raikkonen] and Car 23 as he was leaving the Pit Exit, there was a blue flag waved at him prior to Turn 1 and it was apparent that he saw Car 7 in his mirrors," stated the stewards in their report.

"The driver argued that the pit exit is extremely long and he had reached a high speed by the time he was passed by Car 7 and that he was unable to take a different approach to the turn.

"In deciding penalty, the Stewards considered other similar incidents in Free Practice, including Bottas (Abu Dhabi 2019 - Reprimand) and Vettel (Bahrain 2015 - no further action).

"We consider there is some merit in mitigating penalty and therefore reduce the normal penalty for an offence of this type from 3 grid positions to 1, noting that a grid penalty is appropriate as Car 11 was exiting the pits, whereas Car 7 was on a fast lap and therefore the driver of Car 11 was wholly to blame."

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