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Verstappen Calm Amid Unknowns Before China Race

Verstappen Calm Amid Unknowns Before China Race

18/04/2024

As Formula 1 returns to Shanghai, Max Verstappen remains composed despite uncertainties surrounding the circuit and stiff competition from Ferrari, presenting a challenging yet intriguing weekend ahead.

Max Verstappen does not know what to expect in terms of Red Bull’s performance this weekend in China, as F1 returns to Shanghai for the first time since 2019, and a Sprint will also take place Saturday morning.

“There are a lot of unknowns about the circuit because we have never raced here with this generation of cars. FP1 will be important to quickly get into a good rhythm and, honestly, work from there and see what we get,” Verstappen stated.

“The new Sprint format is better, it offers more opportunities to work on the car—more logic, which is what we needed. With the sprint weekend, there’s always a bit more uncertainty and always a bit more chaos, which, in a way, is a good thing for Formula 1.”

“For now, from my side, it’s somewhat of an unknown. We haven’t run here with these new cars yet, so I really don’t know how we are going to perform here. Time will tell; I’m not too worried about it.”

The Dutchman is obviously wary of Ferrari: “So far, they have been very close to us in most races. We really need to be at our best to win races, and I really think it’s tighter than last year, which naturally makes the task a bit more challenging.”

The three-time world champion has distant memories of the last F1 visit to China: “A lot has changed for the team since 2019. That’s how it goes in racing. But I’m happy to be here and hope we can have a good weekend.”

Verstappen was again asked about the rumors of a move to Mercedes F1 for 2025. He downplays them for now: if the situation calms down, he will stay.

“I signed at 21; I signed a long contract with the team. The only thing I’ve always said from the beginning is, of course, that we want to have a calm and peaceful environment. Lately, we’ve been talking about the car. So, I’m already very happy that we are talking about the performance of the car. And as long as I’m satisfied with the team, there’s no reason to leave. You can take it like that.”

Pérez: “We are going in blind” in China

Sergio Pérez is also in anticipation of discovering the circuit and its conditions, especially since it will all have to happen in just one session. But the Mexican driver is eager to see what it will be like.

“It will be interesting, we’re coming back to China after five years and with a Sprint. It’s going to be a very interesting weekend because we haven’t tested here before, and we’re going in blind. It will be interesting to see what the asphalt is like and what the grip is like,” Pérez declared.

At the end of his contract this season, he would have liked the transfer market to activate later, but his main goal is to continue his good start to give himself a chance to stay with Red Bull in 2025.

“Yes, the market this year activates much earlier than we would like, but I’m confident. I’m in a good momentum, the start of the season for the team has been good and the priority currently is to perform on the track, get the results, and the rest will follow.”

Verstappen Calm Amid Unknowns Before China Race

Verstappen Calm Amid Unknowns Before China Race. Verstappen Calm Amid Unknowns Before China Race

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