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After a ‘Very Bad’ Day at Track, Max Verstappen Has No Hopes for a ‘Better Tomorrow’

Aishwary Gaonkar

After a ‘Very Bad’ Day at Track, Max Verstappen Has No Hopes for a ‘Better Tomorrow'

Max Verstappen had a wretched start to his Imola GP weekend as he struggled with the balance of his Red Bull throughout Friday’s practice. The reigning champion could only finish P5 in FP1 and was two-tenths off Charles Leclerc, who registered the quickest time. However, the situation worsened in FP2 as Verstappen finished P7, over half a second behind Leclerc, who topped the timesheet again.

Going into Saturday for qualifying, the Dutchman doesn’t have any high hopes of a big performance turnaround overnight. According to, he stated, “[It was] just difficult to get a good balance, and [I was] just not really feeling comfortable in the car.” 

The RB20 was a handful around the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, as even Sergio Perez could not break into the top five in either session. Verstappen took off-track trips through the grass and gravel in a couple of instances.

He mentioned, “Also the long run was really bad, so definitely a few things that we have to improve if we want to be competitive tomorrow.”

When asked about the prospects for a turnaround for Saturday, the 26-year-old stated, “I guess it can’t be worse than what we had today!”

Nonetheless, the Red Bull outfit has managed to turn around such challenging situations in the past. So, come qualifying and the Grand Prix, it is difficult to count them out.

However, Ferrari seems to have taken a good step forward with their upgrades on the SF-24. Leclerc topped both practices and Sainz showed good pace as well. Mercedes may have turned the wick up on their engine as has been the trend this season. However, McLaren are yet to show their hand just like the Miami GP.

Thus, Red Bull have a steep challenge up their hand, if they want to get Verstappen back on the top step of the podium in Imola. Still, in the long term, they have been warned about a downfall.

Guenther Steiner warns Max Verstappen and Red Bull of a potential downfall

Guenther Steiner assessed Max Verstappen’s current situation in his column for the Formula 1 official website. The former Haas boss was all praises for the Dutchman’s impeccable dominant run. However, he cited Lewis Hamilton’s example and how the Mercedes champion’s dominance ended, which was once looking eternal.

Steiner stated, “When you’re on a wave like this, you have the confidence, you’re happy with life and nothing goes wrong. But all good things come to an end. It won’t last forever – just look at Lewis right now”.

The 2026 regulations change could bring the change Steiner is suggesting. However, with Ferrari and McLaren closing in on Red Bull’s pace, the next season could very well pose Red Bull with a tough championship fight.

The 2021 season also brought a halt to Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton’s dominance in a similar manner. Since then, the Silver Arrows have been sliding down the pecking order as Red Bull rules the F1 grid. Nonetheless, if Verstappen and Co. experience something like that, there will be clear signs of the same on track.

Post Edited By:Vidit Dhawan

About the author

Aishwary Gaonkar

Aishwary Gaonkar


Aishwary Gaonkar is the F1 Editor at The SportsRush. Having written over 757 articles about different aspects of the sport, Aishwary passionately likes to dive deep into the intricacies of the on-track events. He has been an avid F1 fan since the 2011 season, amid Sebastian Vettel's dominance. Besides the 4-time champion, he also likes Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen. Among the current drivers, he thinks Charles Leclerc and Oscar Piastri have championship-winning caliber. Longing for a Ferrari world championship, Aishwary is also a fan of Aston Martin's underdog story and their bid to win the F1 championship. Other than F1, he follows tennis and cricket too.

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