Verstappen: I can feel more power
Although Max Verstappen was last on the timesheets on Tuesday, he insists that the Ferrari powered STR11 is good, particularly in the horsepower department.
“I can feel more power and my helmet being pulled up more by the wind,” said the teenager, contrasting the new Ferrari grunt with the Renault of 2015 at the end of his first day of testing in Barcelona.
Verstappen added, “The first laps were very exciting, also because of the new power unit – it was nice to finally discover it and it felt good straight away.”
“We did quite a lot of laps, which is very important for the team but also for myself to get comfortable with the car. In general I’d say it was a very positive day.”
“Maybe the time sheets don’t reflect this, but we aren’t focusing on lap times right now. I’m happy!” he said on summarising his day.
Meanwhile Toro Rosso has admitted time was so tight in the winter that a livery for the 2016 car had to be put on the backburner.
“We just ran out of time,” technical boss James Key explained in Barcelona, as the plain-blue STR11 was tested by Verstappen.
“We had three months to make a car,” Key is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport. “Normally, you can’t do that.”
Toro Rosso’s plans were thrown into disarray by the last-minute decision late last year to switch from Renault to 2015-specification Ferrari power.
Key said: “Just two months ago I could not imagine that we could be ready here in Barcelona.”
He confirmed that 150 extra staff were hired at Faenza, “We had to make a few compromises with the (engine) installation.”
But that does not mean the team is not expecting to be fast in 2016, with Key having even referred to a one second per lap boost compared to last year.
“Let’s hope so,” said Verstappen’s father Jos. “But let’s not forget that the other teams are not standing still.”
On day two of testing in Barcelona, the team announced that there will be a “photo opportunity with the STR11 in full livery” on Friday after the first test at the Spanish Grand Prix venue.