F1 Bahrain Testing Day 1: Verstappen fastest as first Preseason day wraps up
By Mark Cipolloni
Defending World Driving Champion Max Verstappen showed why he goes into the 2023 season as the clear favorite. Not only was he the fastest driver of the first day of preseason testing in his Red Bull Honda RB19 without even trying very hard, but he turned a massive 157 trouble free laps.
Verstappen ended the day with a time of 1m32.837s despite spending most of the afternoon session running heavier fuel loads and working on race setups.
What was perhaps most impressive about Verstappen’s runs were his lap time consistency over long runs as he pounded around the 3.363-mile Bahrain circuit.
With that said, it is hard to read too much into the lap times after just one day of testing, but based on Verstappen’s body language, he appears quite happy with the car.
Fernando Alonso put up a time just 0.029s behind the Dutchman in the new Aston Martin in the last hour in cooler conditions.
Carlos Sainz Jr’s time from the morning session of 1m33.253s held up for the 3rd fastest lap of the day, ahead of the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc, the McLaren of Lando Norris and the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton, the Brit finishing the day 0.671s behind the Dutchman in 6th place.
Aside from an early morning red flag caused by an electronics problem for Felipe Drugovich’s Aston Martin – the Brazilian reserve driver subbing for injured Lance Stroll, there were no red flags in the PM session as everyone ran trouble free.
More to follow……………….
Final Bahrain Day 1 Times
|1||Max Verstappen||NED||Oracle Red Bull Racing||1m32.837s||157||Medium|
|2||Fernando Alonso||ESP||Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team||1m32.886s||60||Medium|
|3||Carlos Sainz||ESP||Scuderia Ferrari||1m33.253s||72||Medium|
|4||Charles Leclerc||MON||Scuderia Ferrari||1m33.267s||64||Medium|
|5||Lando Norris||GBR||McLaren F1 Team||1m33.462s||40||Medium|
|6||Lewis Hamilton||GBR||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team||1m33.508s||83||Medium|
|7||Alex Albon||THA||Williams Racing||1m33.671s||74||Soft|
|8||Zhou Guanyu||CHN||Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake||1m33.723s||67||Medium|
|9||George Russell||GBR||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team||1m34.174s||69||Medium|
|10||Logan Sargeant||USA||Williams Racing||1m34.324s||75||Medium|
|11||Nico Hulkenberg||GER||MoneyGram Haas F1 Team||1m34.424s||51||Medium|
|12||Valtteri Bottas||FIN||Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake||1m34.558s||71||Medium|
|13||Nyck de Vries||NED||Scuderia AlphaTauri||1m34.559s||85||Medium|
|14||Felipe Drugovich||BRA||Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team||1m34.564s||40||Medium|
|15||Yuki Tsunoda||JPN||Scuderia AlphaTauri||1m34.671s||46||Medium|
|16||Pierre Gasly||FRA||BWT Alpine F1 Team||1m34.822s||60||Hard|
|17||Esteban Ocon||FRA||BWT Alpine F1 Team||1m34.871s||53||Medium|
|18||Oscar Piastri||AUS||McLaren F1 Team||1m34.888s||52||Hard|
|19||Kevin Magnussen||DEN||MoneyGram Haas F1 Team||1m35.087s||57||Hard|