Formula 1

Max Verstappen: “There’s still a bit more work to do” after Opening Day in Bahrain

2 Mins read
Credit: Lars Baron/Getty Images

Max Verstappen and Oracle Red Bull Racing had a difficult first two sessions of the weekend, by their own standards, as the teams edge closer to the first qualifying of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season at the Bahrain International Circuit.

Verstappen finished third in first practice and second in FP2 behind Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team’s Fernando Alonso, who has been impressive all the way through from testing to the end of today’s sessions. Verstappen was complaining about the balance on the team radio throughout, which wasn’t expected given the team’s near-perfect performance in pre-season testing.

“It was a difficult start to the day. In FP1 we couldn’t get the balance right, which was a bit odd as we didn’t experience this in testing. In FP2, the short run laps weren’t too bad and the car felt a bit more connected and with the long runs, the pace was good.”

Verstappen touched upon the performance of the Aston Martin’s and Alonso in particular, with the Dutchman now finding himself with new competition that he might not have expected in his pursuit of a third consecutive world championship.

“Overall the car isn’t too bad in the long runs. From FP1 to FP2 we went in the right direction, I just need to find my rhythm again. The Aston Martins are looking competitive, you could see that already from testing. There’s still a bit more work to do, we know we have a competitive car, it’s just about putting it all the pieces together.”

Sergio Perez – “We have some work to do over one lap”

Sergio Pérez has admitted that Red Bull has some work to do on their qualifying pace with Alonso managing to top the second free practice session with the impressive pace he has shown so far.

Pérez, who enjoyed his best-ever Formula 1 season with two wins in 2022, thinks the challenge for pole position tomorrow will be a hard-fought one with potentially three teams in the fight to start first at the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday.

“I think everything is close at the top, certainly Aston Martin and Ferrari look strong, and I think it is going to go down to who puts the best lap together in qualifying and who has the better race pace on Sunday.”

The Mexican driver believes Red Bull had a good day, but there is a lot of work for the team to do to reach the full potential of the car as they look to defend both the Drivers’ Championship and Constructors Championship.

“It was quite tricky out there, the temperature from morning to afternoon changes quite a lot so the only representative session was this evening. We have some work to do over one lap and that should automatically put us in better shape for the long run. We explored the car a bit today and generally, we have a good idea on how to set-up for tomorrow.”

Credit: Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Related posts
Formula 1

Ricciardo Fumes After Strategy Call Costs Him Points in Hungary

1 Mins read
Ricciardo called out his team after his Hungarian GP went from promising to disastrous after a questionable strategy call. Despite strong pace and qualifying well, a poorly timed pitstop left him stuck in traffic and unable to challenge for points.
Formula 1

Piastri Delighted After Claiming Maiden Win in Hungary

2 Mins read
Piastri claims his first ever F1 victory in a thrilling Hungarian GP, leading a dominant 1-2 result for McLaren.
Formula 1

2024 Hungarian Grand Prix: Norris On Pole After Wet-to-Dry Dramatic Session

4 Mins read
Lando Norris snatches dramatic pole in Hungary! McLaren lock out front row as rain shakes up qualifying session. Verstappen starts P3, Hamilton P6. Read more with our qualifying report!