What happened to Max Verstappen? Imola GP problems explained after horror show

Max Verstappen said the rest of his weekend “could hardly be worse than today” after a nightmare time on track at Imola.

The Dutchman's two practice sessions were unusually sloppy, with Verstappen struggling to find balance in his RB20.

Max Verstappen lost after Red Bull setup issues at Imola

Additional reporting by Thomas Maher

Standby race engineer Tom Hart's ears were said to be ringing after the race day following a number of complaints made by Verstappen during FP1 and FP2.

The driver in particular had a problem with Acque Minerali and after going out into the gravel he was seen shaking his head in anger.

Speaking after the session, Verstappen expressed his frustration at not being able to find the right balance.

“A tough day,” he said. “It's just hard to have good balance and not really feel comfortable in the car.

“Moving around a lot makes it very easy to lose the car and there are a few things we need to pay attention to. Because today, it's not comfortable.

“Plus, the long run has been really bad. So there are definitely a few things we need to improve on if we want to be competitive tomorrow.

As for his race on Saturday, the only positive Verstappen could find was “it can't be worse than what we had today”.

“We'll look at a few things we can do better for tomorrow, but it seems a little bit like the others have taken a little step forward and from our end it's just a bad day.”

More reactions from the first day of racing at Imola

👉 Emilia-Romagna GP: Charles Leclerc leads FP2 as Red Bull faces multi-team challenge at Imola

👉 Ferrari, Red Bull and RB all summoned by FIA after Imola practice incidents

Verstappen's exit into the gravel was not the only time he raised his hand out of his cockpit as he almost crashed into Lewis Hamilton who had not noticed the Dutchman was completing a fast lap.

On this incident, the Red Bull driver did not want to comment too much but said that it was not the first time that he had been involved in an incident like this.

“It’s not the first time,” he said. “Of course, you always try to stay calm about it. But I've also been on the other end of the line.

“I don’t want to talk about it too much because it’s not our problem. Today we were really late.

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