World champion Max Verstappen clocked the fastest time on the final day of pre-season testing in Bahrain. Red Bull F1 even more aggressive with the new sidepod arrangements, plus whatever else makes up its new package.
All eyes were on Red Bull on the final day of pre-season testing in Bahrain, following talk of a major upgrade that could transform Formula 1’s competitive order.
And while Red Bull’s car changes weren’t as extreme as those deployed by Mercedes at the start of the test – part of which could face a challenge from rivals – it was another salvo in a fierce development war that will rage throughout the 2022 season.
Red Bull has refined the design it grabbed the headlines with when the RB18 first broke cover on the opening day of pre-season testing at Barcelona. As always in F1, it’s about taking a design that was already aggressive and making it even more so.
From lap one on day three with its new sidepod arrangements, plus whatever else makes up its new package, Red Bull has been right up there. So the upgrade seems to have resulted in a a better and more consistent balance.
It was probably the best-looking car as far as the ride control is concerned, with less porpoising than any other car. But not only that, the RB18 is also good over the bumps and because of that the bumps don’t set the porpoising off. If you can do that then you are on to a winner.
It also looks to me that the Red Bull is now starting to increase the rake. If Red Bull can do that and keep the downforce from the underfloor, this will also reduce the porpoising.
When push comes to shove, I doubt there will be over a second between its drivers but the way Max is driving I wouldn’t be surprised to see upwards of half of that.
Max Verstappen ended Pre-Season as fastest, after bringing the final day at the Bahrain International Circuit to a close. Verstappen ran in the afternoon for Oracle Red Bull Racing, with team-mate Sergio Pérez running in the morning.
Verstappen focused on the tyres he will use next week at the season opener during his final pre-season session in the car, the Dutchman still managed to end the day fastest though with a 1:31.720. The World Champion will begin his defence of his title at Bahrain next weekend, where he will be hoping to start the year on the top step.
Verstappen is happy with how the car felt, despite ending the day on top though he doesn’t think too much should be read into the timing sceen.
“The main focus today was testing the tyres we are going to use next week. The car felt alright and we completed the programme we set out to do, so that’s always positive. No one gives full beans or goes to qualifying spec at testing, so we can’t read too much into the timing screens. The new parts we tested today worked well which is what we always hope for.”
“We have definitely learnt a lot” – Sergio Pérez
Sergio Pérez got his final pre-season run during the morning of the final day, the Mexican completed 43 laps, the best of those was a 1:33.105. Pérez believes he has learnt a lot during pre-season but is also aware that there is still so much to learn about the new cars.
“This morning was good. We have definitely learned a lot throughout this testing period and I think there is still so much to learn. There are lots of areas for improvement to arrive at the best performance package possible. Generally, we had a positive day and now I’m just looking forward to the race next weekend.”
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HIGHLIGHTS EPRIX 1 – DE VRIES WINS WET VALENCIA
|F1 PRE-SEASON TESTING 2023|
|Date||Morning Session||Afternoon Session|
|Day 1||23rd February||8:00am – 12:00pm||1:00pm – 5:00pm|
|Day 2||24th February||8:00am – 12:00pm||1:00pm – 5:00pm|
|Day 3||25th February||8:00am – 12:00pm||1:00pm – 5:00pm|
|2023 F1 Car Launches|
|Red Bull||RB19||03 February|
|Alfa Romeo||C43||07 February|
|Aston Martin||AMR23||13 February|
|Bahrain 2023||05 Mar|
|14:30 - 15:30||Free practice 1|
|18:00 - 19:00||Free practice 2|
|15:00 - 16:00||Free practice 3|
|18:00 - 19:00||Qualifying|
|18:00 - 20:00||Race|
|Bahrain||57 laps||308.238 km|
|2023 F1 Calendar|
|3||Australian||Albert P||2nd Apr.|
|4||Azerbaijan||Baku City||30th Apr.|
|5||Miami||Baku City||7th May|
|Drivers Standings 2023|