Max Verstappen sounded a warning to his rivals after Friday practice for the United States Grand Prix, saying his Red Bull RB18 is already in a decent window ahead of Sunday’s race.
The World Champion ended FP1 in second place, and was down in seventh after an unrepresentative FP2 session which was given over to testing Pirelli’s development tyres, with teams allocated set amounts of fuel and unable to make setup changes.
Despite the limited amount of relevant running, Verstappen said his Red Bull was reacting well to changes that the team had made.
“FP1 was quite good,” Verstappen told media including RacingNews365.com.
“We tried a few things to the car and immediately we were there, so that was very positive.
“We knew FP2 was going to be different, and also they gave me the C1 tyre, which we're not even using here, so it was very hard.
“A bit difficult to get a proper read on it, but at least we completed a programme. We have a bit of information from FP1, and the car was already in quite a decent window.
“Should be alright, but let's see [on Saturday] how we are over one lap, and I think the long run is a little bit more of a question mark just because we all missed FP2, but I think it's going to be okay.”
With Verstappen having wrapped up the 2022 F1 Drivers’ Championship at the previous round in Japan, Red Bull can seal this year’s Constructors’ Championship at Austin if they finish Sunday’s race with a 147-point advantage over Ferrari.
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