The Spanish Grand Prix looks set to be a fight between Ferrari and Red Bull Racing, with Charles Leclerc on pole and Max Verstappen right behind him at P2 on the grid. The distinctions in the front row are extraordinarily small, both over a single hot lap and over long runs.
Verstappen was in his zone during the long runs during Friday’s free practise sessions. On the medium tyres, the defending F1 world champion had a stiffer tempo to pick up than the F1-75s of Ferrari. Monacan driver Charles Leclerc was much superior on track the next day, indicating that he was capable of keeping the softs decent for a long period of time.
Red Bull also saw that Ferrari made the necessary steps within a span of 24 hours. “They have definitely improved. You should see how close they have come to us,” said Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko. However, the Austrian former racing driver believes that they’ve got an edge over Italian-based racing team Ferrari.
Red Bull has got a lot of pressure riding on them: Helmut Marko
“We are the world champion. The situation is new for Ferrari. There the pressure is bigger. And Max has proven in the last two races that he makes no mistakes and immediately takes advantage of the smallest weakness of the opponent. I hope Checo Perez can still help him in the race,” added Marko in an interview ahead of the main race of the Spanish Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen seemed to be plagued by some serious issue during the qualifying race yesterday. Verstappen was unable to defend his provisional pole due to a loss of power, but Red Bull can feel relieved because the issue was not with the engine, but with the DRS.
The DRS didn’t open. The power was fine, but the fact that it didn’t open gave him [Verstappen] the feeling that something was wrong with the engine,” explained Helmut Marko bringing in to notice the actual problem that Verstappen seemed to be facing yesterday.