2023 Canada GP: Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez are worried

Red Bull found themselves off the pace in FP2, as Mercedes took P1 and P2 around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Max Verstappen has admitted that he and the Red Bull team have work to do after encountering ride issues during the first day of practice for the Canadian Grand Prix. 

Verstappen finished the disrupted second practice session in sixth position, nearly half a second behind Lewis Hamilton’s pace-setting Mercedes. 

The session was extended to 90 minutes due to limited running in the rain-hit first practice caused by circuit CCTV problems.

Reflecting on Friday’s action, Verstappen acknowledged the lack of straightforward running due to the disrupted sessions. 

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He mentioned that the car was not performing well over bumps and kerbs, indicating the need for fine-tuning. 

However, he anticipated unpredictable conditions with rain expected on Saturday and the possibility of a dry race day on Sunday.

Verstappen commented on the potential impact of rain during qualifying, suggesting that it could lead to a shuffled grid. 

“I think we still have a bit of work to do, the car is not fantastic at the moment over the bumps, over the kerbs. I mean, it’s still not too bad, but we definitely need to fine-tune a few things,” he said.

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“But again, you see now it’s raining… Probably tomorrow it’s raining, but then maybe on Sunday it’s dry again. 

“A bit more of a tricky session, but sometimes you have those days.

“Probably tomorrow is going to be very wet, so that normally always brings a few surprises in qualifying. Then we’ll see what the weather will do on Sunday.”

Sergio Perez also expressed disappointment over the lost track time in the first practice session and the worsening conditions in FP2. 

He considered the first practice crucial and emphasized the need to improve the car’s ride. 

Despite the rushed nature of the session, Perez believed they had a good baseline and looked forward to analysing the data obtained.

Regarding the anticipated rain, Perez anticipated an interesting weekend with challenging conditions. 

“It was a real shame that we ended up losing that FP1, I think we really needed it,” he said. 

“And then FP2, towards the end, the conditions got a bit worse so, as well, it was a shame in that regard.

“But I think we got a good base, and we just have to make sure that we play a bit with the car. 

“It was all a bit in a hurry, so I think there’s plenty for us to understand from tonight.

 “I think it’s going to be an interesting weekend. 

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“This level of rain… It gets really dark and the visibility is really poor, so I think these conditions become undriveable very quickly. 

“If the rain comes, hopefully not as much.”

Verstappen currently holds a 53-point lead over Perez in the drivers’ standings, and Red Bull maintains a 135-point advantage over Mercedes in the constructors’ battle.