Even as a GP winner, Spain test gives Verstappen much-needed time to learn

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Max Verstappen may have become the youngest race winner in the history of Formula 1 in Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix, but the Dutchman wasted little time before getting back behind the wheel of the Red Bull RB12 car in Barcelona on Wednesday.

Allocated the second of the two days of test running following the race, Verstappen continued his good form from the weekend by once again finishing at the head of the field.

A fastest lap of 1:23.267 was enough to give Verstappen P1, but the bigger focus was continuing to learn about the processes at Red Bull and get used to the RB12 car following his surprise promotion earlier this month.

In light of his victory, Verstappen’s assertion that he would need time to get up to speed with the RB12 car in the days preceding the race now looks silly – or perhaps acts as an ominous sign of things to come.

“It was good to get back in the car today. The car is good to drive, very enjoyable and we achieved very good mileage,” Verstappen said following his test running.

“We didn’t have any problems and could run the whole day. For me personally it was good to have the opportunity to get even more comfortable with the car.

“I was able to try some new things and find ways to improve my performance. I learned a lot about the RB12 today, which is very, very positive.”

Red Bull head of race engineering Guillaume Rocquelin added: “A big part of the day was for Max Verstappen to keep working with his crew and his team of engineers, just to build up that rapport. We’ve also been looking at the setup options that he prefers.

“I know he’s won a race but ultimately he’s only been with us a week, so there’s still a lot that we need to work on together as we get to know each other.

“We had to go through the various options and evaluate them with Max, see what he likes – things like the layout of his steering wheel and what he wants to see on the display.

“On top of that we had a normal run plan, very similar to yesterday, working on medium-to-long term development of the car. It went well. We did 118 laps despite doing some really short runs for aero-mapping.

“It was a very solid day and, overall, a very solid test with 200+ laps, no issues with the car and a good program of work completed.”