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Verstappen: Red Bull made a ‘massive step forward’ with Spanish upgrades

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Last year Spanish GP winner Max Verstappen said Red Bull has made a “massive step” with its Barcelona upgrade following qualifying fifth, 0.6s off the Mercedes and Ferrari battle for pole position.

Max Verstappen: “That was a very good qualifying, it went very smoothly and we had no issues and I think the lap was spot on. The car was definitely the best I have had all season and I was very pleased with the balance today.

To be just under six tenths back from pole position is a good achievement and we should be very happy with that compared to one and a half seconds back in Sochi. The team has worked really hard to get the updates ready for the car so a massive thank you to them.

We have been studying the upgrades all week to understand the package and how they would work, once we got the setup sorted and I was able to get comfortable it resulted in a good combination and successful Qualifying. It is a good step forward and has given us a solid platform to build on for the rest of the season. As always we will keep pushing and try to close the gap even more.

It is always nice to come back to Barcelona, I have driven a lot of laps here and it has been kind to me. Like we saw last year, you never know what can happen on race day here, our long run pace looks ok so let’s wait and see.”

Daniel Ricciardo: “Even with the upgrades we didn’t expect to come here and get pole today and I’m still about a second off the leaders in qualifying, but Max was a bit closer which is good for the team. Personally I was struggling in the last sector, especially at the last two corners. I just wasn’t able to carry enough speed through the chicane which is where I lost most of the time.

For the rest of the lap I felt we did all we could and now we have a pretty good balance in the high speed corners. There is more potential in the car which we need to unlock but we have definitely found something this weekend and the gap to the leaders looks to be closing a bit. In the race it would be nice to get on terms with Ferrari and Mercedes but I think the main battle will be between Max and myself.

Maybe we will even look at trying something different and splitting the strategy across both cars to put a bit of pressure on the top two teams. It should be an interesting race.”

CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal: “Our drivers did well to extract the maximum out of the cars in qualifying today. Fifth and sixth is the optimum we could have realistically hoped for but it’s pleasing to see that we’re closing the gap to the cars ahead. Hopefully we can make good use of the third row for the start of the Spanish Grand Prix tomorrow and build on the progress we’ve made so far this weekend.”

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