Max Verstappen fumes at his race engineer

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen ended the opening day of the 2023 Canadian GP in sixth.

Reigning World Champion Max Verstappen wasn’t the happiest of drivers on the opening day of the Canadian Grand Prix, with the Dutchman having complained of issues with his gearbox.

Verstappen ended Friday at the Circuit de Gilles-Villeneuve in sixth and four tenths behind pacesetter Lewis Hamilton, leaving the Red Bull driver with work to do on Saturday.

In fairness, every driver on the grid has significant work to do, as a result of only a handful of minutes having been completed in Free Practice 1.

An issue with the circuit’s CCTV saw virtually the entirety of FP1 red flagged, resulting in Free Practice 2 being extended to 90 minutes, rather than 60.

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It was during FP2 when Verstappen was once again unhappy with his gearbox and his RB19’s downshifts, something he made known over the team radio.

“These downshifts are a joke!” Verstappen shouted at his race engineer over the team radio.

The Dutchman has complained about his downshifts several times this season, with it having made FP2 that much more difficult for him.

Due to how little running there has been, so much is still unknown heading into Saturday, where rain is forecasted.

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The drivers got a brief idea of how the circuit feels in the wet during the closing minutes of FP2, following an incredibly heavy rain shower.

Parts of the circuit looked more like a swimming pool as FP2 was brought to an end, suggesting that qualifying on Saturday could be heavily interrupted if the rain is of a similar intensity.

Friday was certainly “tricky” for Verstappen; however, he recognises that it “wasn’t very straightforward” for anybody.

“Of course it wasn’t very straightforward with basically no running in FP1,” Verstappen said after FP2, as reported by

“It was same for everyone and at least we could get a bit of running in FP2, but I think we still have a bit of work to do.

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“The car’s not fantastic at the moment over the bumps, over the kerbs. I mean, it’s still not too bad, but we definitely need to finetune a few things.

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

“So yeah, a bit more of a tricky session. But you know, sometimes you have those days.”