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Red Bull miss 'optimistic' target on first day of testing

Red Bull finished three laps short of their mileage goal as F1's first pre-season test got underway in Barcelona.

Red Bull have admitted that they narrowly missed their mileage target for the opening day of pre-season testing, but were nonetheless pleased with their start to proceedings. After a cautious launch presentation and secret shakedown at Silverstone, the 'real' RB18 finally broke cover in Barcelona on Wednesday when World Champion Max Verstappen emerged from the pit lane. Verstappen and Red Bull enjoyed a smooth first day of running, racking up 147 laps of the Spanish GP venue (more than two race distances), albeit three short of the team's goal. "We gave ourselves the optimistic target of 700km and we finished around three laps short of that," explained the team's Head of Race Engineering, Guillaume Rocquelin. He added, though, that it felt "quite unusual" to hit such a high number on the opening day of a test.

Verstappen and Red Bull get to know their new car

Rocquelin expanded on a successful start for Red Bull, following Verstappen's positive early comments about the handling of his new car. "I'm happy because today went really well for the team," he said, with the RB18 attracting attention up and down the pit lane. "We did some tests and we have a good direction for how to improve the car. Max is pleased so far. "There are some balance limitations, but nothing that makes us think we need to turn things upside down to make the car work." Sergio Perez will take over at the wheel of the Red Bull on Thursday.

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