Max Verstappen fastest and most productive during first test day in Bahrain


The Red Bull driver already drove sixty laps in the morning session. There were 79 more in the afternoon. Due to the strong winds, conditions were difficult in Bahrain, especially after the lunch break. The sand that ended up on the track did not make it any easier for the drivers. Red Bull, Verstappen, made the most kilometers of everyone on Friday. More than 750 kilometers to be precise.

In that afternoon session, Verstappen recorded the fastest time of the day: 1.30.674. Only Lando Norris (McLaren) and Alpine driver Esteban Ocon, who, like the Dutchman, came into action all day, stayed with their fastest time within half a second of Verstappen.

The fact that sand gets on the track does not make it any easier for the drivers.

The fact that sand gets on the track does not make it any easier for the drivers.

In any case, Verstappen had few problems. In the morning he spun quite early once after coming out of turn 2, but was able to continue on his way.

The Formula 1 drivers are preparing for a group photo on the finish line, with Max Verstappen second from the right, who has a conversation with his new teammate Sergio Pérez.

The Formula 1 drivers are preparing for a group photo on the finish line, with Max Verstappen second from the right, who has a conversation with his new teammate Sergio Pérez.

There were problems for Mercedes. Valtteri Bottas came right in before noon after his first lap, after which the gearbox had to be replaced. It lost a lot of time for the dominant top team in recent years. Only in the last half hour Bottas was able to make some more kilometers, but he did not get further than six laps in total. In the afternoon, world champion Lewis Hamilton entered Mercedes. He eventually completed 42 laps and set tenth time.

There are only three test days leading up to the first race this season, also in Bahrain, on March 28. Verstappen’s new teammate Sergio Pérez will be in action all Saturday and Sunday morning. The Dutchman then shuts down. During the tests, the teams try to gather as much information as possible about the new car. Fast times are often of secondary importance.

In the run-up to the test days in Bahrain, former driver Christijan Albers and our reporter Erik van Haren naturally discuss the latest developments in the premier class of motorsport in De Telegraaf’s Formula 1 podcast:

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