Formula 1 (F1) world champion for the 2021 season, Max Verstappen impressed in the last pre-season test which took place in Bahrain on Saturday (12/3) local time.
Showing strong at the Bahrain International Circuit, Verstappen managed to record the best lap with a time of 1 minute 31.720 seconds, 0.521 seconds faster than the young Haas team racer Mick Schumacher.
Although he managed to record the fastest time but Verstappen stated that it was not his maximum performance with the RB-18, the world champion considered that neither he nor the other drivers had shown their best.
« Nobody is in the full peanut qualifying specification at the moment, » he said, quoted from Motorsport, Sunday (13/3) WIB.
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Verstappen explained that the best aspect of the day wasn’t being the fastest, but that he was actually able to begin to understand the different tire compounds, as well as confirming that Red Bull’s sidepod development had been a success.
« I think the main focus will be on the tires we will use next week, » he said. « The car feels fine, and we’re going through the program we planned, and that’s always positive, I think, » he said.
« Of course, the car is better at low fuel, and of course at high fuel the car is a little lazy and doesn’t really show much. But it’s the same for everyone. I think the new parts that on today, they also work well, which you’ve always hoped for, » he explained.
Verstappen’s form in Bahrain has confirmed Red Bull’s position as one of the pre-season favourites, with Ferrari also looking very strong.
While other teams such as Mercedes and McLaren are having more difficult times at the Bahrain circuit with the hotter weather conditions, Verstappen says that Red Bull appear to have made a step forward compared to the different conditions in Barcelona (pre-season test earlier).
« The track layout and warmer weather conditions make for a completely different feeling compared to Barcelona. But yes, of course, I think we learned more about the car, so we made the car faster. And I think that’s what we wanted, » he explained. (Rif/Motorsport/OL-09)