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Verstappen happy with long streak, Marco retracts Ricciardo statement: I said ‘if’ and that ‘if’ has been lost

Max Verstappen; photo: Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen ended the day of practice ahead of the final round of the 2022 Formula 1 World Championship in Abu Dhabi with the fastest time. The Dutch pilot of Red Bull commented that he was very satisfied with Friday.

“I think everything worked out great. Liam [Лоусън] did a great job in the first practice. He was calm and steady, which is exactly what we needed.”

“In the second session we tried some things and in the long runs the car was going quite well. I’m happy with that. In terms of weather, the temperature in the second practice was much closer to what the conditions will be like in qualifying,” said Verstappen

He added that he will try to fine-tune his car’s settings, but overall he expects the Red Bull team to be competitive in qualifying and the race.

Sergio Perez also said the RB18 ran well in Friday’s final 2022 practice sessions.

“They were very interesting sessions with different conditions. The first one was complicated because of the temperatures. We paid more attention to the afternoon, since then the conditions are closer to those of qualifying and the race. We looked into different things about the balance of the car. I think we have collected a lot of information for tomorrow and more importantly for Sunday. We are competitive in long series, but we have a lot to catch up on in short ones,” added Peres.

Liam Lawson, who was in Verstappen’s car in the first practice, thanked the team for the opportunity.

“I did a test for the Red Bull team for the first time and it was a great experience. I was a bit nervous before the session but the car is really good and I felt comfortable as soon as I sat down. We managed to do quite a few laps with both hard and soft. I drove an Alfa Tauri in Mexico, but it’s hard to compare the two because the tracks are completely different. But today was a great day and I’m grateful for the opportunity,” Lawson commented.

Meanwhile, Red Bull adviser Helmut Marko retracted the statement he made earlier about Daniel Ricciardo

He told Sky Germany that the Australian will be the team’s third driver next year and stated it as a fait accompli. Red Bull clarified that nothing has been signed. According to Marco, an “if” was omitted from the comment.

“I said ‘if we get him as a third pilot.’ That ‘if’ has been lost,” Marco stated.

“We are in talks with him but nothing has been signed yet.”

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