Max Verstappen sees room for improvement with the RB20

Max Verstappen is definitely the big favorite for the race on Saturday, but can the competition perhaps prevent him from going through in qualifying? The world champion seems to be hard to beat on the long run, even in Jeddah, that’s what we learned from Thursday’s training in Saudi Arabia.

Because Verstappen was in a class of his own today. During his long run on the medium tire, he was the only driver able to maintain low times of 1:34 – everyone else lost an average of almost half a second to the Dutchman.

“The training sessions today were pretty good overall, and the pace was right on both the long runs and the short runs,” he says. “Overall, we learned a lot,” said the opening winner, who wants to repeat his success from last year here.

Nevertheless, Verstappen also struggled with his balance during the session and was not happy with his RB20, especially in the last corner. “I have no grip at all in the car,” he radioed in the meantime. “I can’t keep up the speed around the apex. Either the front tires want to go outwards or I just lack grip.”

But that’s nothing that Red Bull couldn’t get under control by Friday.

Formula 1: Verstappen has a “good feeling” for qualifying

The team still has a little work to do over one lap, as Verstappen was only third fastest behind Fernando Alonso and George Russell, 0.331 seconds behind. “There are always things you can do better on one lap,” he says, believing that things could be difficult on Friday.

“We know that some other teams have a little more power on a lap, so we will look at the data and try to improve our performance and get as much out of it as possible,” he says.

But: “I have a good feeling about qualifying. It will be close, but we are satisfied with our performance today and are looking forward to tomorrow.”

Teammate Sergio Perez, who took pole position in each of the past two years, was fifth in the time table (+0.473). He says: “I think we are in a good position with the car and the performance, it was a very positive Thursday.”

“We just need to do some fine-tuning, but I’m happy with the window we have the car in. We know what we need for tomorrow. We have a very good idea of ​​how we can make the car faster, and If we can do that, it will be an advantage in the long run and in qualifying,” said the Mexican.

“I’m very happy with today. Now it’s time to put everything together in qualifying. That will be the main goal and we’ll see what we can achieve. Sector one is super fast and can be scary if you get into traffic there , so we need some clean laps tomorrow.”