Max Verstappen finished the first day’s free practice of the 2023 F1 Round 22 Las Vegas GP in 6th place. He said his first experience at the Las Vegas circuit turned out to be more fun than he expected.
After driving on the simulator, Verstappen said he was not impressed with the new circuit, but when asked after practice if he enjoyed the track, he answered “no”.
“No, I’ve driven on better tracks in my life,” he told the official F1 website. “I said that yesterday, so I haven’t discovered anything new. But I’ll try anyway.”
Practice was halted early in the first session when a water valve cover came off and collided with two cars, damaging both cars. The opening session was canceled after less than 10 minutes, and second practice was delayed by two and a half hours for repairs and inspections.
The second practice session was extended to 90 minutes and ended without incident, with Verstappen completing 37 laps. Verstappen said the new track surface was starting to grip as his rivals covered similar distances.
“It’s slippery,” Verstappen said. “Of course, I didn’t ride much in FP1, so it took me a while to get used to the rubber.”
“In the end I got a little bit better. I was able to get through the whole program and I think that was the most important thing today.”
During the second session, which ended at 4am, track temperatures dropped below 15°C, making it difficult for drivers to keep tires, including soft compounds, warm for multi-lap stints. Verstappen said it would be difficult to decide which tires to keep for Saturday night’s race.
“I think the one-lap soft is good,” Verstappen said. “Long runs were a little more difficult, and the soft tires seemed to be struggling a lot, so I immediately switched to medium tires. However, even medium tires don’t seem to be easy on long runs.”
“So there are still some things we have to consider, how we can improve the depth on long runs. I think we are in very good shape compared to other cars, but we could still do a better job. That’s why I don’t think choosing tires for the race will be easy.”
Category: F1 / max verstappen / red bull racing / F1 Las Vegas GP