Vips explains why he was so much slower than Verstappen in FP1
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Vips explains why he was so much slower than Verstappen in FP1

20 May - 19:25 Last update: 21:59

Juri Vips is very happy with his debut in an official F1 weekend. The Red Bull junior took over the seat from Sergio Perez in the first free practice for the Spanish Grand Prix. He can't believe his luck.

Although Vips finished last and was four seconds slower than teammate Max Verstappen, at least he did what Red Bull had asked him to do: keep the RB18 in one piece. That he wasn't as fast also had to do with the program the Estonian was completing.

"It was a busy session, we did lots of aero mapping so we never planned to do any push laps", he told Red bull's press release. "I can see why F1 is so hard because these sessions are very hectic! You learn a lot driving, as a junior driver travelling to races with the Team you get to hear the drivers’ feedback but to feel first hand how the car feels is useful for me but also useful for the work I do on the simulator.”

Vips full of pride

Vips speaks of a dream come true. “My experience today was amazing. Just to drive on the Grand Prix weekend is an incredible moment. When it first got announced I just kept thinking about when I first started karting and it was just a hobby." The next goal for the 21-year-old driver is now to secure a permanent spot at AlphaTauri next season.

That won't be easy, as Liam Lawson, a member of the same generation, is also aiming for promotion to the pinnacle of motorsport. 

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