Verstappen: No guarantees despite "best" Red Bull pre-season

Max Verstappen says the three days of Formula 1 winter testing in Bahrain have "definitely" been his best with Red Bull, but offer no guarantees for the new season.

Verstappen: No guarantees despite "best" Red Bull pre-season
Listen to this article

Verstappen ended pre-season testing at the Bahrain International Circuit with the fastest lap time, recording a best effort of 1m28.960s.

The lap saw him finish 0.093s clear of AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda in second place, and more than a second clear of reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes.

Verstappen has downplayed the favourite tag for Red Bull throughout testing, but Mercedes revealed on Sunday night that its data showed it was slower than its rival across the race runs.

Read Also:

Red Bull ran without any major issues throughout testing, allowing Verstappen and new teammate Sergio Perez to rack up over a race distance more mileage than Mercedes.

Asked if it had been the best pre-season testing of his F1 career, Verstappen replied: "Yeah, definitely I think it has been the best.

"But it doesn't give you any guarantees. We'll find out through the first race weekend where we are."

The successful test marks a continuation of Red Bull's impressive momentum in recent months that started with Verstappen's victory at the 2020 season finale in Abu Dhabi.

Verstappen was pleased that the test had been "very smooth" and said he was "happy with the progress throughout the whole test", but felt there was still room for improvement.

"We always look in to what we can improve," he said. "For sure there are some things we want to work on. But I guess every team has that."

One of the big weaknesses of the 2020 RB16 in testing was its instability, but the team appears to have resolved the issue with this year's RB16B.

Whereas Mercedes has struggled with rear instability, Verstappen was comfortable with how his car was feeling.

"You know you will lose a bit of downforce on the car with this floor, but so far, it's been quite a stable," he said.

Red Bull head of race engineering Guillaume Rocquelin was happy that the team had given its drivers a solid starting point for the new season.

"Overall, this has been a positive test phase," Rocquelin said.

"Three days are never going to be enough. I don't think anyone would say they are, but in terms of the time available, what we got out of this test was very useful.

"We've got a really good base to build from and we're looking forward to coming back to Bahrain in a couple of weeks."

shares
comments

Related video

Vettel lacking “100 laps” of Aston Martin test mileage
Previous article

Vettel lacking “100 laps” of Aston Martin test mileage

Next article

Bahrain test: Latest F1 2021 technical developments

Bahrain test: Latest F1 2021 technical developments
Load comments
The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move Prime

The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move

OPINION: Uncertainty over Lewis Hamilton's future has persisted since the race direction call that denied him an eighth world title in Abu Dhabi last month. But while walking away would be understandable, Hamilton has time and again responded well in the face of adversity and possesses all the tools needed to bounce back stronger than ever

What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility Prime

What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility

OPINION: The first stage of the 2022 Formula 1 pre-season is just over a month away, but the championship is still reeling from the controversial results of last year’s finale. The FIA acknowledges F1 has had its reputation dented as a result, so here’s how it could go about putting things right

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2022
The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins Prime

The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, We pick out six other key elements to follow this season

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2022
Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1 Prime

Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades.

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up Prime

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. We break down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems Prime

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway, but instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022