Max Verstappen has played down the significance of stopping out on track after leading both Friday practice sessions at the Mexican Grand Prix.
The Dutchman and his Red Bull team appeared in a league of their own at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez as the dependence on downforce saw them a second clear of the field with Ferrari and Mercedes both struggling for pace.
It is the concerns about engine reliability that linger over the weekend, however, and pulling off at the end of the main straight during the race simulation instantly raised alarm.
“For the moment not,” Verstappen said when asked if he was worried. “I think it was a hydraulic failure but we don’t know what it is exactly because the car is still over there, but we will find out."
As for his pace, the Dutchman didn't consider it a surprise given the high downforce setup needed in the thinner air of Mexico City but he isn't getting carried away just yet.
“I hope so, but we will find out tomorrow,” he said on his chance to finally become Formula 1's youngest polesitter.
“Obviously, today has been really good but we have to keep on working, of course, to be better.”
The caution continues to be about the engine deficit to their rivals, with Red Bull boss Christian Horner expecting a Saturday recovery.
“They’re, for sure, going to get their party modes going tomorrow but the question is how much will it give them at this altitude?” he questioned.
“Last year, we missed out by a tenth on the pole, this year it would be great to go one better.
The Briton also issued reassurances after Verstappen's stoppage.
“It is a hydraulic issue of some sort. So we need to get the car back to understand what has caused it,” Horner said.
“Then if it is an engine change, he still has one in his pool so he should be alright. But we need to get the car back first to understand it."
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