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Verstappen Leads Day One F1 Pre-Season Testing with 157 Laps



Verstappen Leads Day One

Max Verstappen, the defending Formula 1 champion, set the fastest time on the first day of pre-season testing for the 2023 season in Bahrain.

He completed 157 laps with no apparent issues and spent most of the day at the top of the leaderboard. His fastest time of 1m32.837s was set in the afternoon session despite a wide moment at the final corner.

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin’s new recruit, was just 0.029s behind Verstappen on the same C3 tyres as the Red Bull driver.

Alonso had a slow start to testing but recovered in the evening session to post the second-fastest time. Ferrari drivers Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc were third and fourth, with only 0.014s separating them.

Lando Norris of McLaren had a mixed day, losing time in the evening session due to a brake cooling issue that caused damage to the wheelbrows.

He finished fifth fastest, ahead of seven-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton in a Mercedes that appeared to be free of the issues that plagued the team in 2022.

The rest of the field included Alex Albon in seventh for Williams, followed by drivers from Alfa Romeo, Mercedes, and AlphaTauri.


Alpine had a low-key start to testing with their drivers in 16th and 17th positions, almost two seconds off Verstappen’s time.

Completing the timesheet were Haas driver Kevin Magnussen, who drove the car in the second half of the day, and McLaren’s new rookie signing, Oscar Piastri.

Here are the day one test times for each driver, along with the tyre compounds they used and the number of laps completed:

1Verstappen (Red Bull)1m32.837sC3157
2Alonso (Aston Martin)1m32.866sC360
3Sainz (Ferrari)1m33.253sC372
4Leclerc (Ferrari)1m33.267sC364
5Norris (McLaren)1m33.462sC340
6Hamilton (Mercedes)1m33.508sC383
7Albon (Williams)1m33.671sC574
8Zhou (Alfa Romeo)1m33.723sC367
9Russell (Mercedes)1m34.174sC369
10Sargeant (Williams)1m34.324sC375
11Hulkenberg (Haas)1m34.424sC351
12Bottas (Alfa Romeo)1m34.558sC371
13De Vries (AlphaTauri)1m34.559sC385
14Drugovich (Aston Martin)1m34.564sC340
15Tsunoda (AlphaTauri)1m34.671sC346
16Gasly (Alpine)1m34.822sC360
17Ocon (Alpine)1m34.871sC353
18Piastri (McLaren)1m34.888sC352
19Magnussen (Haas)1m35.087sC357

Aston Martin experienced issues with the floor that disrupted Fernando Alonso’s running, making it a challenging day for the team after Felipe Drugovich had to stop on the track due to electrical problems in the morning.

However, Alonso managed to log the second-fastest time of the day, 1:32.866s, in the final 30 minutes, only 0.029s behind Verstappen’s leading time. Verstappen was the only driver to have participated in both sessions and completed significant mileage for Red Bull.

He also appeared to have a stable car compared to others who suffered from instability, indicated by their lockups.

Near the end of the session, a yellow flag turned into a Virtual Safety Car, which lasted for five minutes.


When it was lifted, the drivers were focused on high fuel running, with no one improving on their earlier times, leaving the order unchanged at the end.

With 157 laps and the fastest time of the day, Red Bull and Verstappen seem to be in a good position heading into the second day of testing, which will begin at 10:00 local time on Friday.

Verstappen Leads Day One Verstappen Leads Day One Verstappen Leads Day One

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