Verstappen stresses "we're not chasing lap time" as he racks up laps in first week

22-02-2020 09:19
by Nicolás Quarles van Ufford
F1 News
Verstappen stresses we're not chasing lap time as he racks up laps in first week

After only setting the ninth quickest lap time in the first week of winter testing, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing star Max Verstappen has stressed the team is completely disregarding one-lap pace for now, as they mainly focused on reliability in the first three days.

Verstappen put 86 more laps on the board on Friday, taking his total to 254 - more than every other driver except reigning champion Lewis Hamilton, who had 19 more at 273. 

The Dutchman, who will drive his first-ever home Grand Prix later this year, set his quickest lap of the year on Wednesday when he clocked in at 1:17.516: exactly one second slower than second-placed Hamilton and almost two full seconds slower than pace-setter Valtteri Bottas.

This is common in first weeks of testing, however, as teams tend to not focus on lap times until the second week, after they are certain all systems are functioning to perfection and reliability is at the desired level. This was no different for Verstappen, who was happy with the results and the data.

"We got another good amount of laps today and for this first week of testing that's really important as we try to understand the new car," the 22-year-old said after Friday's running had concluded.

"We're not chasing lap time; it's not about that. It's about scanning and testing everything on the car, making sure everything works well and that it's reliable.

"It's been really positive and the car has felt good all week. We still have a lot of things to learn on the car and that will continue next week, but at the end of this first test I'm happy and can't complain."

Next week, the grid should start taking some sort of representable shape as teams will dial up their engines and flex their muscles a bit more as the F1 continues its preparation for the 2020 season. will be on location for the second week of winter testing at the Circuit de Catalunya - make sure to check out all our coverage from Spain!

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