Max Verstappen’s Opening Surge in Bahrain GP

Max Verstappen Bahrain

This article was last updated on February 29, 2024

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Max Verstappen Kicks Off New Formula 1 Season with Defiance

Thursday marked the commencement of the much-anticipated Formula 1 season, with Max Verstappen skilfully claiming the sixth fastest time in the first free practice. However, the reigning champion was not exactly thrilled with his new racing chariot – the Red Bull RB20. In an event filled with drama and high-speed action, it was Daniel Ricciardo who claimed the fastest time in Bahrain, setting a thrilling stage for what’s to come.

Verstappen’s Discontent with the Red Bull RB20

Verstappen’s first full lap out of the pits saw him immediately establish the fastest time. However, he minced no words in expressing his discontent over the on-board radio. Transfering to the new Red Bull seemingly comes with its setbacks, and Verstappen certainly felt them. In his words, “Everything is shit.” Further adding during the runs that issues were still persistent while downshifting.

Breaking Down Verstappen’s Racing Woes

“The car literally bounces,” Verstappen exclaimed, voicing his frustrations over the Red Bull’s performance. According to him, the process of downshifting through the gears felt inconsistent. This inconsistency has the potential to create an imbalance in the car when braking into a corner, endangering the racer and compromising the run.

Strong Winds and Tough Times for Other Racers

The Bahrain International Circuit was not particularly favourable for many racers, due to the strong winds. A number of cars, including the Aston Martin carrying Lance Stroll, struggled significantly around the end of the start/finish line. Even Ricciardo’s record-setting run involved utilising a set of soft tyres on his Racing Bulls, as did the runs from the McLaren drivers and Ricciardo’s teammate Yuki Tsunoda.

Verstappen’s Performance Solely on Medium Tyres

Among drivers who performed solely on medium tyres, Fernando Alonso proved quickest. The Spaniard was just 0.324 seconds longer than Ricciardo. Verstappen, too, raced on medium tyres, trailing Alonso by just 0.369 seconds. The other drivers relying solely on mediums included the racers from Ferrari and Mercedes.

The second free practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix is lined up for today at 4 p.m. (Dutch time), ramping up the anticipation among spectators and racers alike. The first Grand Prix event of the year is slated for Saturday to accommodate the approaching Ramadan.

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