2024 F1 Bahrain Pre-season Test: Red Bull's Max Verstappen Leads the Opening Day

On the opening day of Formula One preseason testing in Bahrain, Max Verstappen emerged in first. Continuing off his strong performance in 2023, the Red Bull driver set a strong precedent for the upcoming year.

By Divyam Dubey | on February 21, 2024 Follow us on Autox Google News

Max Verstappen dominated the first day of Formula 1 preseason testing in Bahrain with a spectacular display of speed. With an eye towards clinching his fourth drivers' championship in a row this year, the defending champion blew away the field, crossing the finish line one second ahead of McLaren's Lando Norris. Even though there are a lot of unknowns when it comes to testing lap times, Verstappen's improved Red Bull unquestionably set a notable milestone. A dramatic departure from Red Bull's dominant 2023 RB19, the RB20 arrived to much fanfare at the Bahrain show.

2024 F1 2024 Bahrain Test: Day 1 Pre-season

The morning session belonged to the three-time world champion, and he never relinquished his lead. With a remarkable lap of 1 minute, 31.662 seconds on Pirelli's C3 tyres—the softest compound for the forthcoming Bahrain Grand Prix—which almost all drivers used for their fastest laps—he reclaimed the lead from McLaren's Lando Norris halfway through.

In third place, only tenths of a tenth behind Norris, was Ferrari's Carlos Sainz, who had a fast lap around the same time as Norris in the early afternoon in his new Ferrari SF-24.

As the renamed AlphaTauri RB team's driver, Daniel Ricciardo, steadily improved his lap time in the final hours to secure fourth place. Pierre Gasly accelerated in the last minutes to take fifth place and get into the 1 minute, 32-second range at Alpine, which mostly features high-fuel, hard-tyre programmes.

Notable incidents occurred when Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll lost his left rearview mirror. Daniel Ricciardo narrowly avoided the debre but Haas' Nico Hulkenberg was unable to react on time and suffered damages.

After Oscar Piastri and Charles Leclerc from the morning session, Zhou Guanyu from Sauber, and Logan Sargeant from Williams completed the top ten.

While navigating the rapid Turn 9 into the difficult left-hander Turn 10, Sargeant was involved in the most significant incident of the day. Although there were major lock-ups, especially through Turn 8 and Turn 10, with Norris and Stroll suffering significant ones, the day generally went smoothly aside from Sargeant's spin and an early moment filmed by Esteban Ocon of Alpine.

F1 Mercedes W151

George Russell, the only Mercedes driver on day 1, finished 12th on C3 tyres. The team prioritised longer runs and harder tyres during the afternoon, since all 14 drivers in the top fifteen all used these compounds.

Pos Driver Team Time Laps
1 Max Verstappen Oracle Red Bull Racing 1m31.344s 142
2 Lando Norris McLaren F1 Team 1m32.484s 72
3 Carlos Sainz Scuderia Ferrari 1m32.584s 69
4 Daniel Ricciardo Visa Cash App RB F1 Team 1m32.599s 51
5 Pierre Gasly BWT Alpine F1 Team 1m32.805s 60
6 Lance Stroll Aston Martin Aramco F1 Team 1m33.074s 53
7 Charles Leclerc Scuderia Ferrari 1m33.247s 64
8 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin Aramco F1 Team 1m33.385s 77
9 Oscar Piastri McLaren F1 Team 1m33.658s 57
10 Zhou Guanyu Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber 1m33.871s 62
11 Logan Sargeant Williams Racing 1m33.882s 21
12 George Russell Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team 1m34.109s 121
13 Yuki Tsunoda Visa Cash App RB F1 Team 1m34.136s 64
14 Valtteri Bottas Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber 1m34.431s 68
15 Alex Albon Williams Racing 1m34.587s 40
16 Esteban Ocon BWT Alpine F1 Team 1m34.677s 60
17 Kevin Magnussen MoneyGram Haas F1 Team 1m35.692s 66
18 Nico Hulkenberg MoneyGram Haas F1 Team 1m35.906s 81

With Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg at the very bottom of the standings, Haas admittedly set the slowest lap times, reflecting the low expectations for their new car. Despite this, Max Verstappen of Red Bull finished the day with 138 laps, while Haas topped the mileage leaderboards with 148.

Tags: F1 Bahrain F1 Test F1 Pre-season Test

Write your Comment

Please tell us your city. This allows us to provide relevant content for you.