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Verstappen reveals set-up "mistake" in Bahrain

NEWS STORY
11/04/2019

While former teammate Daniel Ricciardo was admitting to being too clever in terms of the set-up of his Renault, Max Verstappen admits that it was a "mistake" in setting up his Red Bull in Bahrain that caused his handling issues.

Though expected to be a force in Bahrain, Verstappen struggled from the opening lap, and while looking set to snatch third from Charles Leclerc following the youngster's issue, the appearance of the safety car following the double retirement of the Renault pair meant the Red Bull driver finished fourth.

Speaking to reporters in China, where, once again, the Red Bull could prove to be the, ahem, dark horse, Verstappen revealed that the post-Bahrain test shed new light on his race issues in the desert.

"We understood already a lot in testing," he said, "and we also found out we made a mistake with the set-up, the whole week, unfortunately.

"That's how it goes," he added. "As long as we found it."

Asked for specifics, the youngster was giving little away, other than to say it was "mechanical," affected both cars, and otherwise the RB15 would have been closer to the Mercedes and Ferraris.

"I think if we could find a good balance within the car we could definitely be fighting closer," he said. "Then for sure, we would have finished third.

"It was anyhow windy throughout the whole weekend," he added. "I was never happy with the balance, always trying to get it, but we never got it. With what we found we could understand why we couldn't find a good balance.

"If there's something set-up wrong, like we had, then you can do whatever you like on the car, and you will always have the same issue."

Asked if the set-up mistake also accounted for the team's issues with the softer tyres in Bahrain, he said: "That is another thing, but in general it would not help, especially if you have the softer tyres and you are sliding that much, you are overheating them.

"It wouldn't have helped," he added. "But I wouldn't say it would have cleaned it up fully. It's always a question mark.

"In the race, on both tyres, we were too slow, so I don't think it was a big issue at the end.

"It's a simple fix," he insists, looking ahead to this weekend. "What we did wrong there, yeah, but then we need to see how the rest is behaving. It's again a new Grand Prix, so a lot of things can happen. We just have to make sure that we are on top of what we can control. Then we'll see how competitive can be."

Asked, following speculation, if the RB15 is more difficult to set-up than its predecessor, he replied: "To be honest no.

"I feel comfortable in the car," he continued, "and I drive it as fast as I can. But, for example, in Australia we did quite a good job to be fourth, even in Bahrain to be fifth I was actually quite happy.

"At the moment it's just not really quick enough," he admits. "But like I said before, in Bahrain we found out some issues. I feel comfortable, there's nothing wrong with that. I feel better in this car than last year's car."

Check out our Thursday gallery from Shanghai, here.

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1. Posted by Chris Roper, 11/04/2019 21:52

"Rather he be a " dark horse" than a "Bull in a China Shop" this weekend......."

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