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F1 2024 Winter Testing

F1 Winter Testing Begins with Verstappen Leading

21/02/2024

The F1 season kickstarts in Bahrain, showcasing all teams and Max Verstappen dominating the initial sessions with notable performances.

This Wednesday marked the return of F1 with the start of winter testing in Bahrain. All the new cars were seen on track together, with Max Verstappen finishing this first half-day at the top.

Of course, the Red Bull driver’s time of 1’32″548 is not indicative, as teams were engaged in extensive background work. In the first hour, aerodynamic testing took place with probe grids around the cars.

As the session progressed, times improved, but nothing gave a clear indication of the pecking order. Surprisingly, it was reliability that brought twists. McLaren, notably, struggled to get its car on track at the start of the session, with Oscar Piastri showing just five laps on the counter for a long time.

Later, the Australian managed to get some laps in, and it was Mercedes F1 that encountered a problem, with George Russell spending nearly an hour in the garage in total. Mercedes apparently faced an issue with its hybrid system, but the car returned to the track towards the end of the session.

Williams kept its FW46 in the garage for a few minutes, before the car stopped on track in the last quarter of an hour. It’s unclear what issue affected the Williams driver.

Furthermore, Haas also faced some problems, but the team managed to complete numerous laps, exceeding 60 loops thanks to Kevin Magnussen, who was nevertheless at the bottom of the standings.

The morning’s most productive driver was Fernando Alonso, third with over 70 laps completed, just ahead of Verstappen, who neared 70 loops. Charles Leclerc finished second with around sixty laps as well.

Piastri is fourth, but McLaren just surpassed 50 laps. Yuki Tsunoda follows with close to 60 laps, ahead of Russell, who also approached 50 loops. Valtteri Bottas had a good run in the Stake F1, and Albon finished eighth with 40 laps covered.

The session will resume at 1 pm until 5 pm, and there will be driver changes in eight of the ten teams. Only Russell and Verstappen will not be replaced, with Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez not driving today.

Pos.DriverCarTimeLaps
01Max VerstappenRed Bull Honda RBPT RB201:32.54866
02Charles LeclercFerrari SF-241:33.24764
03Fernando AlonsoAston Martin Mercedes AMR241:33.38577
04Oscar PiastriMcLaren Mercedes MCL381:33.65857
05Yuki TsunodaRB RBPT VCARB 011:34.13664
06George RussellMercedes W151:34.23048
07Valtteri BottasStake F1 Kick Sauber C441:34.43168
08Alex AlbonWilliams Mercedes FW461:34.58740
09Esteban OconAlpine Renault A5241:34.67760
10Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari VF-241:35.69266

F1 2024 Winter Testing Bahrain. F1 2024 Winter Testing Bahrain

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