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Max Verstappen

Verstappen boasts immense gap after opening Bahrain F1 test

The chequered flag has fallen on the first day of pre-season testing in Bahrain, where Max Verstappen has finished with the fastest lap time.

Verstappen Bahrain test
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To news overview © XPBimages

Max Verstappen has ended the first pre-season test day on top of the timesheets.

The three-time World Champion set a 1:31.344 in the final half hour of the session equipped with the C3 compound.

Verstappen also set the most number of laps by a single driver with 143 to his name, ensuring he got his 10th season in F1 off to a strong start as he chases a fourth title.

The Dutchman was only one of two drivers who completed both the morning and afternoon sessions, with George Russell handling both outings for Mercedes.

Lando Norris was second fastest for McLaren but was over one second down on Verstappen.

Carlos Sainz was third while Daniel Ricciardo was fourth in the rebranded RB squad.

Woe for Williams

Williams endured a challenging day with Alex Albon’s session coming to an end in the morning with a fuel pump issue.

Team-mate Logan Sargeant took over in the afternoon but suffered a high-speed spin at Turn 10, resulting in a return to the pits after avoiding the barrier.

While neither Williams managed to end the session inside the top top, both of the Aston Martins did with Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso finishing sixth and eighth respectively.

The duo were headed by Alpine’s Pierre Gasly, while Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc slotted into seventh place.

Oscar Piastri was ninth in the second McLaren while Zhou Guanyu rounded out the top 10 for Stake Sauber.

Pre-season testing resumes on Thursday, February 22 at 10 AM local time.

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