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Christian Horner

Horner provides update after Verstappen's practice issues

Christian Horner has reflected on Max Verstappen's disrupted first two practice sessions in Miami and the challenge ahead on Saturday.

Verstappen Miami
Article
To news overview © Red Bull Contentpool

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner is optimistic that the issues Max Verstappen encountered during Friday practice in Miami have been resolved ahead of Saturday's running.

Verstappen experienced a troubled first day at the Miami International Autodrome, including cooling delays in FP1 and a subsequent gearbox change that kept him in the garage for the first half of FP2.

When he eventually made it out on track in the second session, a hydraulic issue prevented Verstappen from steering properly - his woes compounded by a small brake fire.

Following plenty of work overnight, Horner provided an update for final practice.

"We had a horrible day with Max yesterday on track, but I think we've understood those issues," he explained to media, including RacingNews365.com.

Perez input will influence Verstappen set-up

Nonetheless, Verstappen's lack of running means Red Bull are planning a more intensive FP3 session in order to make up for lost time.

"I think that, looking at FP3, we'll probably do a few more laps than normal, just to get into the circuit," Horner told Sky Sports F1.

"You know, with a street circuit, you've just got to find your way into it.

"But we know how good Max is at adapting to new venues, so we're sure he'll catch that time up."

In the other RB18, Sergio Perez had a much more straightforward session as he completed 23 laps en route to third place, and his data will be used by Verstappen's side of the garage.

"Checo [Perez] had a good session - long runs and short - we've got a lot of input from him," Horner said.

"We'll be relying heavily on all that knowledge. That'll influence the set-up direction that Max takes [for qualifying] as well. His side of the garage had a good run."

Horner wary of Mercedes resurgence

Mercedes led the way on Friday as George Russell finished the day at the top of the times in a seemingly much-improved W13, followed by teammate Lewis Hamilton in fourth.

Horner said it appears that the reigning Constructors' World Champions are in the front-running battle this weekend.

"I've been saying since pre-season [that] it's only a matter of time before they sort themselves out. You can see that that's starting to happen," he commented.

"The characteristics of this circuit, I think, help as well. But you can see they're starting to get on top of their issues and looking competitive."

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