Max Verstappen Picks Up Where He Left Off, Fastest On Opening Day Of 2024 Testing

Max Verstappen Picks Up Where He Left Off, Fastest On Opening Day Of 2024 Testing
Max Verstappen Picks Up Where He Left Off, Fastest On Opening Day Of 2024 Testing

Max Verstappen concluded the initial day of Formula One’s preseason testing in his familiar dominant position – over a second ahead of his closest rival Lando Norris – echoing his performance from the conclusion of the 2023 season by setting a pace that left his competitors trailing.

The Bahrain International Circuit played host to the commencement of the three-day testing session on Wednesday, setting the stage for the season opener scheduled to occur at the same venue on March 2.

While it’s common knowledge that the fastest times in testing may not always be indicative of true competitive order, Verstappen’s margin of 1.140 seconds ahead of his closest competitor, Lando Norris, could be a foreboding indicator for the competition, given Red Bull’s back-to-back supremacy in the 2022 and 2023 seasons.

2024 Formula 1 testing - Day 1 times

Verstappen, aiming for his fourth consecutive Driver’s Championship title this year, clocked his leading time on the C3 tyres during the final hour of the test session. This lap time outpaced his earlier best by 0.3 seconds, much to the delight of his race engineer, Gianpiero Lambiase, who was visibly pleased in the Red Bull pit.

The remainder of the testing period will likely offer a clearer view of Red Bull’s true advantage as rival teams gain a deeper understanding of their vehicles and fine-tune their configurations.

Max Verstappen

“It feels good to be back in an F1 car again and I had fun out on track today. We covered a lot of laps and tried quite a few things with the car, which was important, so happy overall with how it went. After the winter break, the first few laps always surprise you a little but then you get back into the swing of things pretty quickly. Overall, the car was responding well and considering this was only testing we had a nice day. Looking to tomorrow, we are speaking to our engineers about what the plans will be, but I am looking forward to getting into the car in the afternoon.”

GianPiero Lambaise – Red Bull Head of Race Engineering

“The winter break was fairly short this year but, nonetheless, the amount of work which has gone into the car has been impressive as usual. We came to Bahrain with a few unknowns around a relatively new car, but we have tested most of the fundamentals on day one and got the answers we needed to. Now we have a solid base to take onto days two and three, when Checo takes over the car in the morning.”

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