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Verstappen admits he and Red Bull 'have work to do' after practice

Max Verstappen believes more background work is to be done after falling half-a-second off Carlos Sainz's pace in FP2 at the French Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen has conceded that Red Bull have a lot of work ahead of them if they're to overcome the pace deficit to Ferrari in time for qualifying at Paul Ricard. With drivers completing the traditional qualifying simulations in FP2, Ferrari topped the timesheets with Carlos Sainz setting a benchmark of 1:32.527 and Charles Leclerc just one-tenth of a second behind. Verstappen was third in the session, but was half-a-second adrift of the pace, and seemed to have issues with understeer on his flying laps. Speaking after the session, Verstappen commented on the issues facing him in the session and called on Red Bull to work to solve the issues overnight. "I think FP2 was a little bit more difficult for us," Verstappen told media. "We just didn't really get the balance like we hoped for, but also we were trying a few things with the cars, so we'll have a look at it all for tomorrow and try to be closer to where we were today."

Verstappen reckons Red Bull's long-run pace is better

For much of the season, Ferrari have been able to demonstrate quicker one-lap pace than Red Bull, with many of Verstappen's victories this season coming from their better race pace. Verstappen gave a glimmer of hope by cautiously confirming that once again the Red Bull appeared to be better suited to the longer runs. "I think the long-run is a bit better, but again, the tyres are running really hot and it's very difficult to judge where you are. We still have a little bit of work to do," added Verstappen. Verstappen was then asked if his tyre complaints are similar issues to the ones he encountered at the Austrian Grand Prix, where tyre wear was a big factor in his loss of the race lead. "I think overall this track is very hard on the tyres anyway, so I think you cannot compare it to Austria," responded Verstappen. "I think in general we all needed a few more laps to really have a good look at the long run."

RESULTS 2024 F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix - Qualifying