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Max Verstappen sets fastest time in Barcelona testing

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Verstappen won the Spanish GP last weekend thanks to an excellent drive.

Formula One - Spanish Grand Prix - Barcelona-Catalunya racetrack, Montmelo, Spain - 15/5/16 Red Bull F1 driver Max Verstappen of The Netherlands holds trophy after winning Spanish Grand Prix. REUTERS/Juan Medina
Formula One - Spanish Grand Prix - Barcelona-Catalunya racetrack, Montmelo, Spain - 15/5/16 Red Bull F1 driver Max Verstappen of The Netherlands holds trophy after winning Spanish Grand Prix. REUTERS/Juan Medina

Max Verstappen set the fastest time in testing in Barcelona on Wednesday, three days after he became Formula One's youngest race winner on his Red Bull debut. The 18-year-old Dutch driver completed 118 trouble-free laps of the Circuit de Catalunya and ended the day 0.739 seconds faster than McLaren's Belgian reserve Stoffel Vandoorne.

"It was good to get back in the car today," said Verstappen, who won in Spain little more than a week after being promoted from the energy drink company's junior team Toro Rosso in a swap with Russian Daniil Kvyat.

"The car is good to drive, very enjoyable and we achieved very good mileage. We didn’t have any problems and could run the whole day," he added.

"For me personally it was good to have the opportunity to get even more comfortable with the car. I was able to try some new things and find ways to improve my performance. I learnt a lot about the RB12 today, which is very, very positive."

Not enough time with the Red Bull car

Verstappen had not driven the Red Bull before last Friday's first practice.

His sensational win came after Mercedes team mates Lewis Hamilton, the triple world champion, and current leader Nico Rosberg collided on the opening lap and retired.

Also read: Monaco GP: Red Bull optimistic after first win in 22 months

Red Bull's head of race engineering Guillaume 'Rocky' Rocquelin said in a statement that much of the day focussed on Verstappen getting to know his crew, as well as doing some aerodynamics work.

"We’ve also been looking at the setup options that he prefers. I know he’s won a race but ultimately he’s only been with us a week, so there’s still a lot that we need to work on together as we get to know each other," he said.

That meant going through details like the layout of the steering wheel and set-up preferences. Kvyat was also testing with Toro Rosso and said it had been a 'crucial' day for him to get to know the Ferrari-powered car better.

"I got more familiarisation, I did some things to suit my driving style a bit better, so I think it was a good combination all together. Very important," he said after 116 laps.

Germany's Pascal Wehrlein, who races for Manor, stepped into the Mercedes and completed 133 laps -- more than two race distances. He ended the day third fastest.


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