Max Verstappen says that he should be must faster on Saturday in Abu Dhabi after a series of changes overnight. The Dutchman ended the first practice session in third place, only a tenth and a half down on pace-setter Lewis Hamilton.
However, the pace fell away in the second session, but Verstappen has identified to the team where he is having trouble with the car and expects it to be faster for the rest of the weekend.
"We tried a few different things today to see what suited the conditions," he said. "I was pretty happy in the first practice but not so much in the second one. We know what was changed which resulted in me not being able to turn as well as I would have liked so we should be able to fix that for tomorrow.
"This track especially has a lot of corner sequences so we need to be able to get the turning of the car spot on to be able to compete. We need to improve the set-up but we still don’t look too far away so this is a positive to take from the day’s work. The track is pretty slippery, if you run off-line, clip some kerb or find a sandy patch it is easy to lose grip, I think that is why we have seen a few mistakes."
Verstappen also revealed that he was running with an old engine during the day but confirmed that a fresher one will be fitted. The 20-year-old thinks Mercedes is once again the team to beat in the 2017 season finale, but vowed to get as close as possible.
"The engine we had today was an old one, it is definitely not 100% so we will change that tomorrow to improve the power. With a new engine and an improvement in the setup I am confident we will be in a good position. Mercedes are still looking like the team to beat, as they have been all year so we will try to get as close as we can."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing