Max Verstappen Fastest On Opening Day Of 2023 Testing

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 23: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB19 on track during day one of F1 Testing at Bahrain International Circuit on February 23, 2023 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202302230488 // Usage for editorial use only //
BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 23: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB19 on track during day one of F1 Testing at Bahrain International Circuit on February 23, 2023 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202302230488 // Usage for editorial use only //

Two-time World Champion Max Verstappen started 2023 where he left off 2022 – ahead of the rest of the field – setting the best time of the day, a 1:32.837, from 157 laps of testing in Bahrain.

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Max Verstappen

“We had a good day today, we completed a lot of laps which is what we wanted – almost three Grand Prix’s worth. It was also a smooth day; we barely had any issues and we could really focus on the car and try a few things. We had a lot of good running throughout the day when it was hot and sunny and also in the evening which is more representative. It’s nice to see how the car has evolved from last year. The behaviour is a bit different because of the tyres but otherwise, we are happy. It’s difficult to tell how the car will perform this season through one day of testing, the car is running well and that’s the most important thing. I’ll be running again tomorrow afternoon, so we’ll be trying out different compounds and seeing what else we can learn before the race next week.”

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GianPiero Lambiase, Head of Race Engineering

“Today was a promising start to the 2023 season as we were able to complete the planned program without major reliability concerns. Everyone’s hard work over the winter has really paid off as the car hit the ground running in terms of balance, and we were able to concentrate on testing various broader aerodynamic and mechanical configurations to better understand the new platform as well as the subtlety modified tyre construction. We will continue to focus on ourselves and ensure we are as prepared for the first race as we can be by following a similar method over the next two days. There’s plenty of data analysis to do this evening, and then we look forward to Checo experiencing his first taste of the RB19 tomorrow. For Max, he has just four hours remaining before his season kicks off, so he needs to recover well overnight.”

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