Max Verstappen after second training: “It’s not easy here”

Max Verstappen’s teammate recorded a time of 1.34.946 on the softest tire. A fraction slower than the fastest times of Mercedes drivers Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton in morning practice in hot Austin.

This time Lando Norris (McLaren) came second, ahead of Hamilton and Bottas. They were half a second away from their fastest times in the first practice. Max Verstappen only set the eighth fastest time in the second session, on the medium tyre. He couldn’t get a quick lap on the softest rubber because he was held up by the ‘traffic’ on the track. The World Cup leader then decided to come in and switch to the long runs, on the medium tire, with a view to Sunday’s race. Most of the other drivers also did that race simulation on the yellow belt.

“It didn’t feel bad about a fast lap, but because of the traffic I couldn’t do a free lap,” said Verstappen. “It is generally not easy here to find the right compromise when it comes to the set-up of the car. The track is quite bumpy. We’ve got a few things to look at, we’ll definitely do that tonight.”

At the start of the training, Verstappen had a bit of a fight with his competitor Hamilton, who overtook him at the start of a fast lap. Verstappen called the Briton a ‘stupid idiot’ and raised his middle finger. Although the Limburger has not cooperated in the popular Netflix documentary for years Drive to Survive, the makers of this will probably know what to do about an otherwise innocent incident in the title fight.

“We all line up one after the other, to start a fast lap,” said Verstappen. “So yeah, I don’t quite understand what happened there.”

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