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Max Verstappen

Verstappen endures torrid day with Red Bull: 'It can't get worse'

Max Verstappen could only manage fifth and seventh on a troubled day at Imola ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Verstappen Imola FP1
To news overview © XPBimages

Max Verstappen labelled Friday at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix as a "bad day" as he was left seeking answers about his Red Bull's performance.

In an uncharacteristically difficult day for the world champion, his running at Imola was blighted by numerous offs through the gravel and a chronic lack of balance or grip in the RB20 as he took fifth and seventh in the two practice sessions.

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, armed with the latest upgrades, topped both sessions as Mercedes also enjoyed a strong Friday with Red Bull a lowly seventh and eighth in the afternoon session. 

Red Bull does have upgrades of its own at Imola, but a big set-up change was made to the car between the two sessions, although Verstappen still continued to struggle. 

Reflecting on the poor day of running, Verstappen observed that rival teams had also taken a step forward.

"It was a difficult day, it was difficult to get the balance right and I didn't really feel comfortable in the car," Verstappen explained.

"It was very easy to lose the car, so there are a few things we have to look at because today was just not good.

"The long run was also very bad, and we definitely have to improve some things if we want to be competitive [in qualifying].

"It looks like the others have taken a step forward, and from our side, it was just a bad day.

"Do I think things will be better on Saturday? It couldn't be worse than today."

During FP2, there was an incident involving Lewis Hamilton at Turn 6, with the Mercedes blocking the approaching Red Bull on the entry to the corner.

Hamilton offered his hand in apology over the incident, as Verstappen also played it down. 

"It is not the first time, but it happened and I don't want to talk too much [about it]," he said. 

"Because that wasn't our problem today, we have to fix our speed."

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