Formula 1 title leader Max Verstappen feels he and Red Bull “went a bit backwards” with set-up direction through Friday practice for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Verstappen enters this Sunday’s sixth round of the campaign heading the championship for the first time in his career, following his victory in Monaco.
Verstappen fronted Friday’s opening session but played second fiddle to Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez during the afternoon running.
“Performance-wise, I think we had a great start to the weekend so far, the car in FP1 felt really decent,” said Verstappen.
“I mean I was quite comfortable and then for FP2, we made a few changes to see if it would be better but I think we went a bit backwards.
“We will look overnight at what direction we will go into but nevertheless for the team it was a very good day. I think we look pretty strong.”
Perez, at a circuit where he twice finished on the podium with Force India, suggested that he has made a breakthrough with Red Bull’s RB16B.
“I think we’ve done very good progress,” he said. “After Monaco, we did a very deep analysis and today, I was like, well I finally understand a bit more this car, how I need to drive it and so on.
“In all regards, I think this is the best Friday of the season, the most complete Friday in terms of data, in terms of how comfortable I feel with the car.
“I think we are definitely going to be in the mix so hopefully tomorrow we are able to get a good, clean lap, which is very important.”