World champion Max Verstappen hopes to place his season-opening disappointment behind him and present the true potential of his new Red Bull automobile on the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Just days after an enforced retirement, whereas working second behind Charles Leclerc of Ferrari within the Bahrain Grand Prix, the 24-year-old Dutchman stated he needs to return stronger and quicker on the high-speed Jeddah Street Circuit.
“Last weekend was a troublesome one for all of us to take,” stated Verstappen, who gave vent to his frustrations through the race in a radio change together with his group earlier than gas provide issues halted him with 4 laps remaining.
“It was disappointing. You all the time say to your self, and to the group as nicely, that now we have to attain factors. It doesn’t matter whether it is first or second within the first race weekend.
“You may see that. In flip one, I didn’t danger an excessive amount of within the battle with Charles. It was all clear and I used to be like ‘I’m proud of second right here’, however to lose so many factors was very disappointing.
“You know in a championship the place generally it may be very tight, on the finish, these are crucial factors.”
Leclerc received forward of Ferrari team-mate Carlos Sainz in a convincing one-two for the Italian group with Lewis Hamilton taking third place for Mercedes as Verstappen was adopted into retirement by Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez.
It was Ferrari’s first win since 2019 and put in them as leaders of the embryonic championship.
“The Jeddah monitor continues to be very new for us. Last yr, the humidity was difficult,” stated Verstappen.
“It’s a extremely fast monitor with high-speed straights and this yr’s automobiles are barely heavier so it’s going to be fascinating to see how they carry out.”
Last season’s inaugural Saudi occasion, in December, was the penultimate race of the championship and delivered excessive drama with two crimson flag stoppages and fiery competitors between Verstappen and Hamilton earlier than the Briton received to arrange a livid and controversial finale in Abu Dhabi.
Red Bull group chief Christian Horner stated he hoped his group can keep away from extra reliability points, however conceded Ferrari confirmed in Bahrain they had been quick.
“We could have made some strategic miscalculations, however Ferrari had the tempo,” Horner stated.
“It was encouraging for us that we took the battle to them. Max was clearly very disenchanted, however he’s pragmatic too and it’s an extended yr. He is aware of we’ve bought a very good automobile. We’ve simply bought to get on prime of understanding this situation.”
‘A lot of everything’
Trackside engineering boss Andrew Shovlin instructed the F1 Nation podcast that their new automobile was beset by many issues however hoped to improve for Jeddah.
“There is a variety of all the pieces,” stated Shovlin.
“There’s bouncing. The steadiness is poor. There is a scarcity of low-speed grip. We’re struggling on traction. The drivability may very well be higher. The tyre warm-up shouldn’t be ok … and the automobile is a bit on the heavy aspect.”
The opening race delivered a shake-up to the hierarchy and loads of wheel-to-wheel racing.
The outfits that stepped up included Ferrari’s buyer group Alfa Romeo the place China’s first F1 driver Zhou Guanyu made a point-scoring debut.
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