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Max: Mercedes, Ferrari turn up their engines for qualifying

Max Verstappen has admitted Ferrari and Mercedes will probably race ahead in Baku qualifying.

Although he crashed at the street circuit, the Red Bull driver topped the timesheets in Friday practice.

“We have taken a positive step here, and with the long straights it is even a little unexpected,” he is quoted by De Telegraaf newspaper.

However, according to Algemeen Dagblad newspaper, Verstappen warned: “We have to wait, because we all know Mercedes and Ferrari can turn up their engines for qualifying.”

Indeed, Red Bull junior team Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz admitted: “I do not expect to see a Red Bull on pole.”

Friday Practice Report

The first 90 minutes of running at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Free Practice One saw Max clock up 19 laps with the fastest lap of 1:44.410 while Daniel was second fastest with a time of 1:44.880 over 22 laps.

In Free Practice Two Max maintained his position atop the timesheet with a 1:43.362 over 36 laps despite an off into the wall at turn one late in the session. Meanwhile Daniel finished third fastest with a 1:43.473 from his 34 laps.

Assessing Friday’s free practice sessions, Max said: “The whole day has been really positive, except the last lap, everything has been working well. From lap one I felt comfortable in the car, it was handling really well and I was confident with the setup.

“I think the preparation we did at the factory and in the simulator has allowed us to come here with a strong setup and competitive car from the go. This has definitely been the most positive Friday of the year so far. It feels like the cars are quicker through the corners this year, this means if you have a lock up it can be more critical. We are confident heading into Qualifying but also wary that Mercedes will turn their engines up a bit. We are on top at the end of Friday which means they have to catch up so it will be exciting in the session tomorrow.”

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