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Verstappen expects Red Bull improvements

Ferrari looked on for victory at the 2022 Spanish GP before an engine problem meant retirement for Charles Leclerc

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Despite earning victory and leading Red Bull to a one-two at the 2022 Spanish Grand Prix, Max Verstappen has warned the team about Ferrari’s newfound pace advantage and expects some improvements especially over one lap. 

Charles Leclerc started the Spanish GP on pole and was in commanding lead of the race, with Verstappen spinning early on at Turn 4. However, an engine problem on the Ferrari saw Leclerc retire on Lap 27.

“He [Leclerc] did pull away from me a little bit,” Verstappen told the press. 

“But there were races also before where this has happened a bit. I mean, I’m not saying that I’m not looking at it for sure.

“They had a really strong weekend. And we definitely need to improve and we need to be better over one lap performance especially. 

“But I think we were so early on in the race that it was a bit difficult to tell how big the margin was exactly. 

“After this weekend. It shows that with all the upgrades they brought, I think they definitely took a step forward. So now it’s up to us, of course to try and close that gap down again.”

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen crosses the line to win the Spanish Grand Prix Pool via REUTERS/Manu Fernandez

Verstappen’s DRS problem

Throughout the Spanish GP, Verstappen had problems with his DRS activating as on occasions it would open, then on others it wouldn’t with the Dutchman clearly getting frustrated by the incident over team radio. 

“There is nothing you can do,” Verstappen said. “Because I mean, I’m not stupid. Once you get the light and the activation beep, then you press the pedal and if it doesn’t open, there’s clearly an issue.

Mercedes’ George Russell, Red Bull’s Sergio Perez and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during the Spanish Grand Prix REUTERS/Albert Gea

“I spammed it like 50 times at one point on the straight, and it’s just not opening. So there was clearly an issue. 

“I tried all different kinds of things, stay off the curb, on the curb, open at a tiny bit later, but it was just broken or like malfunctioning. So yeah, we clearly have an issue on this wing.”

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