Max Verstappen looks back with a good feeling on the first free practice sessions for the Bahrain Grand Prix. The 23-year-old Red Bull Racing driver set the fastest time in both sessions on Friday.
“The car was okay,” said Verstappen after the second free practice session in Bahrain. “We had different conditions than during the winter tests, but it went well.”
“I had a good feeling in the car and more of course there are a few more things we need to look at: tires for example and a bit of balance work. But overall I’m quite satisfied.”
Verstappen came to 1.31.394 in the first practice and set the fastest time of the day later in the day with 1.30.847. Red Bull seems to have come out of the winter better than in recent seasons, although the first real measurement moment with especially Mercedes will not follow until Saturday afternoon during qualifying.
In both practices, the drivers did not yet reach their fastest times of the winter tests in Bahrain. Verstappen set a time of 1.28.960 two weeks ago at the Bahrain International Circuit. “Tomorrow will be a new day with more wind, which is very difficult with these cars,” said the Limburger.
‘Still expect Mercedes to have the strongest car’
Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas had to settle for third and fifth place respectively in the second practice. Both drivers had to put up with McLaren driver Lando Norris.
Verstappen already announced earlier this week that he will continue to see Mercedes as a favorite and the results of the first training sessions do not change that. “I expect Mercedes to still have the strongest Mercedes-powered car.”
Red Bull could not compete with the dominant Mercedes in recent seasons, but the German formation is now trying to put the pressure on the Verstappen team. Team boss Toto Wolff said at the end of February that Red Bull is the title favorite and Hamilton was impressed by the competitor after the test week in Bahrain.
- Third free practice: Saturday – 1 p.m.
- Qualifying: Saturday – 4pm
- Race: Sunday – 5pm
Source site www.nu.nl