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Red Bull Racing

Red Bull play down 'irrelevant' pre-season lap times

Red Bull have moved to downplay their speed on Saturday, after Max Verstappen set the fastest time of the Bahrain test.

Verstappen Bahrain
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To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Red Bull's Head of Race Engineering, Guillaume Rocquelin, has said that the lap times posted by Max Verstappen in Bahrain on Saturday are "irrelevant", after the Dutch driver set the pace by some margin.

Verstappen's 1:31.720, set on the Soft C5 tyre, proved too much for anyone else to overcome, with the reigning World Champion ending the day almost seven-tenths clear of Ferrari's Charles Leclerc.

But, as ever with testing, all times need to be taken with a pinch of salt, and Rocquelin explained that the quicker efforts are merely to allow the drivers and teams to get to grips with the new machinery.

"The lap times are irrelevant," he said after the test concluded in Sakhir.

"Today was more about putting together the lessons we have learned over the past few days.

"It was about going through the process of running different [tyre] compounds, so that the drivers are happy and that we have a platform to work from for next week."

Why didn't Perez show the same speed in the morning?

With Verstappen showing the pace of the upgrades introduced to the RB18, Sergio Perez had the honour of bedding them in during the morning session.

Perez did not get anywhere near the lap time set by Verstappen, as he went 1.4 seconds slower, but Rocquelin pointed out that there had been a difference in approach between their respective programmes.

"There were some slight differences in the tyre allocation between Max and Checo," he said.

"But, generally, the idea was the same, to establish a good baseline with which we can start the race weekend, and I think we achieved that."

Also interesting:

F1 Podcast: All you need to know after the second pre-season test

At the end of the first pre-season test of 2022 in Barcelona, Dieter Rencken and Thomas Maher discuss the on- and off-track developments in Bahrain.

F1 2022 Bahrain pre-season test RN365 News dossier

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