Verstappen Presents His Expectations Ahead Of Race In Barcelona

Friday, 21 June 2024 at 16:00
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The triple World Champion Max Verstappen shared his predictions for the 2024 Spanish Grand Prix at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Coming to Barcelona, Scuderia Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc suggested he expects Red Bull to outperform everyone in a more dominant way, just like during the first few races of the season.
Why? As opposed to the last three or four circuits that F1 has been to, the track in Barcelona should suit the team from Milton Keynes much more.
Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez struggled with their RB20 on tracks with bumpy surfaces, which required a lot of kerb-driving. However, Barcelona is the opposite- a smooth track that doesn't require driving over the curbs. Max Verstappen told the media in Spain:

This track should suit our car, because it isn’t as bumpy and you don’t need to use the kerbstones. It’s a more straightforward track, but everyone has a lot of data because we’ve been here so often.

Barcelona used to be the track used for pre-season testing, and every team had enough data to nail the setups of their cars without much track running. Therefore, Verstappen believes small details will make the difference this weekend.

"The last races, the teams have been closer together and I expect the same here in qualifying. Small details can make a big difference, so it's important to have a weekend without mistakes. That's what we always aim for."

Does Verstappen enjoy winning with a big lead?

During the ninth round of the season, Max Verstappen won the race by a small margin, crossing the finish line less than five seconds ahead of both Lando Norris and George Russell.
During that weekend, both McLaren and Mercedes looked like they had what it took to beat Red Bull, but in the end, the triple World Champion won the race as he was the most consistent with the best strategy calls.
It was clear from the Dutchman's reaction after the race he was more satisfied with that victory than with any other in a long time. Could it be that he enjoys close races more than winning with a 20-second lead? He said:

"There are always races when it's closer together, which means more pressure, so you have to be closer to the limit. That's normal, and it's always been this way."

"I enjoyed the race in Montreal, but I equally enjoy extracting the most out of myself and the car and win by twenty seconds. But I'm not afraid of competition, so I'm happy with both."