Max Verstappen joked that the spins he suffered during testing were just a way of giving the media something to interview him about.
The Dutchman completed a qualifying simulation late on the final day of pre-season testing as Red Bull wound up the RB16 for the first time – he would fall just 0.073s short of Valtteri Bottas’ benchmark for the day, with his 1:16.269 proving to be the third-fastest time over the two weeks.
It wasn’t a test without incident though after Verstappen suffered several spins in the RB16, including one which beached it in the gravel on the penultimate day.
🚩 RED FLAG 🚩
— Formula 1 (@F1) February 27, 2020
But, the Dutchman decided to make light of the situation.
“I knew I was going to come here today so I said: ‘Well, we have we need something to talk about, so let’s give it a few spins out there’,” he is quoted by Motorsport.com.
“It’s just something which happens. I want to try the limits of the car, and I think that worked pretty well. By having a few spins I knew where the limit was.”
Verstappen also had a tongue-in-cheek reply when asked if fans were right to be worried about the skittish nature of Red Bull’s latest challenger.
“They don’t drive the car, so they don’t know.,” he said with a smile.
“I’m not worried at all. That doesn’t meant that we have to keep pushing and improving.
“We had good preparation. I think that’s very good from our side, and I hope it’s enough to be competitive in Melbourne.
“We tried basically everything we wanted to try over all the days together, so I’m very pleased with that.”
Verstappen had several attempts at cracking Bottas’ fastest time on the last day, though he was seen lifting off before the line on one of the laps where was up on Bottas.
The 22-year-old said it was just more “fun” to drive the car like that though after pumping in plenty of laps earlier in the day.
“It’s a lot more fun to drive a car like that, [after] all the time just a lot of laps in a row,” he explained.
“It all seemed to be working quite well. We were not running the softest compound, but still I think the balance of the car was good.”
Out of Turn 11 and into Turn 12…
— Formula 1 (@F1) February 28, 2020
Verstappen’s team-mate Alex Albon also found himself in a spin with the RB16, but he too played down its significance.
“I think it’s just pushing really, just trying to see what the car can do,” he said.
“The wind’s always up and down as well. So it’s not just Max and I. I think there are a lot of spins through the paddock.”