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Max Verstappen

Verstappen fastest in morning session of Day 1 of 2024 pre-season testing

The Red Bull driver led Charles Leclerc and Fernando Alonso in Bahrain.

Verstappen Bahrain test
To news overview © XPBimages

Max Verstappen ended the morning session of Day 1 of 2024 pre-season testing fastest, over half a second quicker than Charles Leclerc.

Verstappen started his full day in the RB20 on the hardest Pirelli tyres, with the new Red Bull looking a handful in the low-grip conditions, as Fernando Alonso went fastest after the opening salvos.

But after a switch to the C3 Medium compound tyres just before the two-hour mark, Verstappen climbed up the order and eventually lowered his lap to a 1:32.548, this is about two-tenths faster than the quickest time from the first day of testing in 2023.

Verstappen posted 63 laps, and was 0.699s quicker than Leclerc and a tenth-and-a-half up on the solid-looking Aston Martin AMR24 of Fernando Alonso, who was the busiest driver with 77 laps before he hands over to Lance Stroll for the afternoon.

Result Day 1 - Wintertest Bahrain

# Driver Team Time Tyre
Results are being loaded...

Albon and Ocon troubles

The first official four-hours of running largely went trouble-free with the only incidents of note being an off for Esteban Ocon at Turn 4 with cross-winds and an issue for Alex Albon.

The Alpine skated across the gravel and spent time in the pits for repairs by the team, taking a test of 1:34.677 for ninth place.

As for Albon, he caused a yellow flag by stopping at Turn 1 with about 25 minutes of running remaining, but marshals were able to recover the FW46 - now armed with a built-in LED screen into the steering wheel - without the need for a red flag.

Oscar Piastri took fourth for McLaren following a slow start to his morning in the car, with Yuki Tsunoda slotting in-between Piastri and Mercedes' George Russell.

Russell was forced to spend time in the pits with Mercedes making set-up changes, with ex-Mercedes and current Stake driver Valtteri Bottas seventh, having briefly been top of the times in the early stages.

Kevin Magnussen endured a tricky morning for Haas, with a fuel system glitch and broken aero-rake disrupting his running as he finished slowest of all, some 3.144s slower than the Verstappen benchmark.

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F1 2024 pre-season testing RN365 News dossier

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