Max Verstappen did not discover anything in his first real-life experience of the Las Vegas F1 track which made him enjoy it more than he expected to.said yesterday he had been unimpressed with the new circuit after driving it in the simulator. Asked after the first night of practice whether he had fun on the track Verstappen stated: “No.”
“No, I’ve had better tracks in my life,” he told the official F1 website. “I already said that yesterday [and] there’s nothing new that I discovered or whatever. But we’ll just get on with it.”
Practice was disrupted after a water valve cover came loose early in the first session and was struck by two cars, damaging both. The opening session was abandoned after less than 10 minutes and second practice was delayed by two-and-a-half hours as repairs and inspections were carried out.
The second practice session was extended to 90 minutes and passed without incident, allowing Verstappen to clock up 37 laps. With his rivals covering a similar distance, the new track surface began to gain some grip, said Verstappen.
“It’s slippery,” he said. “Of course, we didn’t really run a lot in FP1 so it took a bit of time to rubber in a little bit more.
“At the end it was a little bit better. We managed to do the whole program, which I guess was the most important for today.”
With track temperatures falling below 15C in the second session, which finished at 4am, drivers found it difficult to keep heat in their tyres, including the softest compound, over multiple-lap stints. Verstappen said it won’t be a straightforward decision which tyres to keep for the Saturday night race.
“I think the soft over one lap of course is good,” said Verstappen. “The long run was a bit more difficult, it seemed like the soft tyre was struggling quite a lot out there so we very quickly went onto the medium. But it seems that even the medium is not a straightforward tyre as well in the long run.
“So there’s still a bit of things that we have to look into, to see how we can improve our deg on the long run. I think we still look very good compared to others, as well, but I feel like maybe we can still do a better job. So not straightforward to pick your tyres I think for the race.”
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2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix
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