Practice at the Hungaroring on Friday kicked off with Mercedes ruling the roost as usual. However, the same could not be said for Red Bull as they struggled in both sessions. This prompted Max Verstappen to confess that the team has its work cut out.
In the first session, Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes reigned supreme with a 1-2, while Verstappen came up eighth. As a further blow to the teeth, the Briton set the fastest lap on the hard tire, while Verstappen was 1.4 seconds behind.
The situation in the Red Bull camp was so bad that Verstappen dove into the pits early and told his engineer, “This is bad!”
To make matters worse, the second session was wet. Therefore, the Dutchman could not gain much feedback. Once the session ended, he found himself languishing in seventh place.
Speaking to Motorsport.com, he said, “Plenty to look into, and of course, a little bit of a shame that it was raining in the second practice. Otherwise, I think we already could have had a look. But yeah, a lot of work to do.
“[I’m] not so happy, but luckily we have a night to look at it, and make some changes and try to do better tomorrow.”
Further elaborating on the RB16’s weaknesses, he admitted that the primary focus is maintaining balance. Additionally, Alexander Albon revealed that he often found the car rather unpredictable.
Listening to the drivers’ complaints, it does cast worrying signs since many consider Red Bull as Mercedes’ main rival this time around. There were suggestions that they could do well in Hungary because of the pace in Austria’s slow-speed corners.
Interestingly, Albon admitted that his struggles with the car followed a trend that was present through the opening two races as well.
“I’d say it’s quite similar. But there definitely have been places, like in race two we made a big improvement,” Albon said. “Then coming here, it just hasn’t followed through as nice as we expected.”
Hopefully, for Red Bull’s and Max Verstappen’s sake, the Milton-Keynes-based outfit will get their issues sorted out ahead of the race.