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Verstappen sober about 'RB20: 'Otherwise we would have done very badly'

Verstappen sober about 'RB20: 'Otherwise we would have done very badly'

24 February - 07:00

Already after the first day of the winter test in Bahrain, it went through the Formula 1 paddock like wildfire: Red Bull Racing, especially with Max Verstappen behind the wheel, would be half to a full second ahead of the rest. The test days therefore went very positively for Verstappen's team, but the three-time world champion did not really like it.

Winter test necessary evil for Verstappen

Some drivers enjoy the winter test, others see it as a necessary evil. Verstappen belongs to the latter category. "No, I don't like it, but I know it is necessary," he told GPblog.com. He explains that it is mainly about finishing programmes and getting a good feeling in the car. From there, the team should get an idea of which direction to take with the set-up.

Verstappen took care of car during Wednesday, which went smoothly: the Dutchman completed no less than 143 laps. "I couldn't really wish for more. I was actually wishing for less laps.," he joked. "But no, I did a lot of laps. Everything went well." Friday afternoon also went off without a hitch for the Red Bull driver, who was mainly concerned with the longruns.

Everyone in the F1 paddock does agree that Verstappen and Red Bull are clearly ahead of the rest. Asked if the RB20 is therefore a clear improvement on its predecessor, the RB19, a sober answer follows: "If it would have been worse then we did a very bad job. So no, for sure the car is better than last year's car, but I think everyone on the grid has a better car than last year."