Verstappen Careful With Predictions Ahead Of Race In Imola Amid Ferrari's Big Upgrade

Friday, 17 May 2024 at 14:00
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Max Verstappen discussed his expectations from the race weekend ahead of the 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix as he pinpointed rivals' upgrades.
This week's race at Imola Circuit might be the turning point of the season. This weekend, we will find out whether McLaren can repeatedly challenge Red Bull and how big of a step forward Ferrari can make with its new upgrade.
The latest race in Miami was the first time in a while that someone beat Red Bull in race pace, and it might suggest we are looking at an exciting battle for the rest of the season as other teams catch up.
However, Red Bull isn't standing still and will also introduce a new upgrade in Imola. Asked how important it is to respond to rivals' upgrades, the triple World Champion explained the latest upgrade isn't a response:

"It's not responding. These things are already planned out. It's not like one team comes with upgrades, and we are like, 'Oh, we need to put something together.' It's already in the pipeline."

"We are happy with it but naturally, you need to keep on pushing because the teams behind are catching up. As we saw in Miami, when we don't get things 100 percent right, they are ahead. We have to try to make sure we don't have too many of those weekends."

In terms of where Red Bull will stand compared to their rivals, the 26-year-old was a bit more careful with predictions than perhaps during some other weekends, as he said:

"Ferrari have got a big upgrade. It's difficult to know where we are going to be. McLaren have a really big upgrade and we will only find out here how good that upgrade is going to be because it always takes a bit of time to get on top of things."

"It's about little details that can make a big difference to lap times sometimes, especially on a track like Miami, which is sensitive."