Productive morning Max Verstappen, problems at Mercedes


Verstappen had a productive morning session. He drove 60 laps in Bahrain. The fastest of them went in 1.32.245, good for the third fastest time of the morning. Daniel Ricciardo and Pierre Gasly were slightly faster. Verstappen spun quite early once after coming out of turn two, but was able to continue on his way.

There were problems for Mercedes. Valtteri Bottas came in immediately 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 steps into Mercedes. Charles Leclerc caused a red flag in the last minutes after the Ferrari driver parked his car along the track.

Max Verstappen arrives at the Bahrain circuit.

Max Verstappen arrives at the Bahrain circuit.

In Bahrain, Verstappen drives all Friday. So do Esteban Ocon (Alpine) and reserve driver Roy Nissany from Williams. The other seven teams split the day among their two drivers.

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.

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 Perez.

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 Perez.

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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