"Very happy" Verstappen downplays Red Bull's pace

Max Verstappen was left feeling "very happy" with his start to Formula 1 pre-season testing after setting the pace for Red Bull on the opening day in Bahrain.

"Very happy" Verstappen downplays Red Bull's pace
Listen to this article

Verstappen closed out the first of three days of pre-season testing with both the quickest time and the most laps completed, racking up more than two race distances in the RB16B.

The session marked the first extensive run-out for the RB16B, as well as its first public sighting after Red Bull kept it hidden following a filming day at Silverstone earlier this month.

Red Bull appeared to complete the day without any issues, with the only slight scare coming when Verstappen had a half-spin exiting Turn 2 in the opening session.

Verstappen called his day "very good" when speaking after the session, saying he was pleased with his efforts despite the tricky conditions as a sandstorm hit the circuit.

"We had a very positive day," Verstappen said.

"We could do a lot of laps, even though the track conditions were quite difficult, very warm, a lot of wind, and of course we know the degradation around here is quite high, so it's not easy to do a lot of laps in a row.

"But we're very happy with today. We don't need to speak about pace or whatever. We just did our programme.

"The car felt nice to drive, which I think is always very positive to start the test like that. That's of course what you always aim for. When you can complete a day like this, we're all very pleased."

Read Also:

Verstappen recorded a fastest lap time of 1m30.674s, finishing two-tenths of a second clear of McLaren's Lando Norris in second place.

It marked Red Bull's strongest start to pre-season testing for some time, and starkly contrasted reigning champion squad Mercedes, which finished 91 laps off Verstappen's total.

Asked if it would be possible to read into Red Bull's performance later in testing, Verstappen said: "Maybe a little bit more.

"But I always want to wait until Q3 on the first race weekend. Then you'll know you see the real pace in all the cars."

The second session was marred by sandy conditions that left the track lacking grip, and appeared to show low visibility at times as the sun set and testing finished under floodlights.

"Just the heat initially makes it a bit more difficult in general," Verstappen said.

"But I have to say I changed my visor, and I think it's always a bit more tricky on the cameras. Sitting in the car, it's fine."

Verstappen will hand over the reins of the Red Bull RB16B to teammate Sergio Perez on Saturday before closing out the test for the team on Sunday evening.

shares
comments

Related video

Vettel: More to come after "tricky" first F1 test day
Previous article

Vettel: More to come after "tricky" first F1 test day

Next article

Mercedes trick floor revealed as Bahrain F1 testing starts

Mercedes trick floor revealed as Bahrain F1 testing starts
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Prime

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Motorsport.com in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi.

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Prime

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Prime

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon Prime

The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s teammate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy Prime

How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Prime

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Prime

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second-best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot.

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Prime

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022