Driver: Max Verstappen
Best time: 1:34.011
Circuit length: 5.412km
Day 2 of Formula One’s final pre-season test in Bahrain saw Max Verstappen take over from Sergio Perez at the wheel of the RB18. And though running was interrupted on a number of occasions by red flags elsewhere, the World Champion eventually made his way to second spot on the timesheet, using the C4 compound Pirelli tyre to set a best time of 1:34.011. The Dutchman also gave a demonstration of the overtaking potential of F1’s new cars during a brief and good-spirited on-track battle with rival Carlos Sainz.
And though the frequent stoppages left Max with a total of 86 laps, the Dutch driver was pleased with the progress made during the course of his day: “I think we did as good a job as we could today, it was very warm and there were quite a few red flags. It was quite a good day, all pretty standard and we put quite a good amount of laps on the car. =
We won’t really use these tyre compounds for the race so again, it’s not really representative. It was fun to have a little battle with Carlos, I think he was on a long run with more fuel and I was on a shorter run and once I caught him he started using DRS, I think he wanted to race as well. So far the car is pretty good but there are always areas to work on.”
Head of Race Engineering Guillaume Rocquelin added that even though the red flags hampered running, the Team had planned for a more punctuated session today as it delved deeper into optimisation options for the RB18: “It was more of a stop-start day today, mostly by design. We had a good continuous run yesterday, so today was more about exploring and testing different things. We spent more time in the garage making changes to the car and also taking more risks. We learned a lot and gathered a lot of information today. I’m quite happy with what we found out, we are progressing in different directions and it’s all very positive. We were reasonably competitive at the end without even trying.”