Qatar GP: Preview - Red Bull


The race in Brazil was a tough one for you and Checo. How do you reflect it now?
Max Verstappen: Yes it was a tough weekend, in general we were a little bit off pace to Mercedes but nevertheless we only lost a couple of points so it's not too bad. Of course I would always like to win but we had a good battle and to come home in second is okay. We've got three races to go so it's all about pushing and doing everything we can as a Team to maximise performance on track.

Have you been to Qatar before and are you excited to go?
MV: I think I've only been to Qatar once for a prize giving so I'm looking forward to going back. It's a new track and we've obviously never been there so I'm excited to see how it's going to be driving the track, hopefully we can perform well there. It always looks cool when we see Moto GP race there!

What are your expectations heading into the race weekend?
MV: It's hard to say at the moment but let's see when we get there. I've driven it a little bit on the simulator to understand the corners but it will be good to see the track in real life. The practice sessions will of course be very important for everyone to get up to speed and understand the car set up.

Without the timing of the virtual safety car in Brazil do you believe you would have achieved a fourth straight podium in Sao Paulo?
Sergio Perez: Yes, we were very unlucky on Sunday to miss the podium, it was basically just down to bad luck. But this is racing, and these things happen so there is no point dwelling on it, I just need to move on and look to Qatar and getting back on the podium there.

Where do you think we can improve as a Team going from Brazil to Qatar?
SP: I think we will do a deep analysis as a Team and Qatar is going to be a very different track to Sao Paulo so things will change. Hopefully we can be a lot stronger there, across the whole weekend. For me also, it is nice to be back to the normal qualifying format to see how we line up in terms of outright pace.

You have driven at the Losail International Circuit before in GP2 in 2009 and have now reminded yourself of it in the sim, how do you think it will suit the RB16B and does your experience give you an advantage?
SP: I think we will be competitive over there and hopefully give them a hard time. It is a really fast track, with a lot of downforce required so we will see how quick we can be. I don't remember driving there very well, it was a long time ago so I don't believe there is much advantage for me! There are three races remaining of the season and still so much to play for. Brazil was a very fun race so let's hope for the same this weekend.

Stats & Facts

Checo won at the Losail International Circuit when he competed in the GP2 Asia Series in 2009. He is the only active Formula One driver to have previously raced at that level on this track.

The RB16B chassis of Max and Checo are the only bulls to be found in Qatar this week because when it comes to land-based mammals, Qatar boasts the highest density of camels of any nation in the Middle East.

At its widest point, Qatar is only 90 kilometres wide, shorter than an F1 sprint, and 160 km north to south, barely over half the distance of a Formula One Grand Prix.

Red Bull Racing Honda will be seeking a 75th win in constructor history this weekend. The team have already won ten races this year, more than in their championship winning seasons in 2010 and 2012.

Max is attempting to win on his first visit to a new circuit for the second time in his career. The first win came as recently as September, when he was a winner on home ground at Zandvoort.

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Published: 17/11/2021
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