Max Verstappen’s verdict on Red Bull’s ominous start with new RB20

Max Verstappen shares his first impressions of Red Bull's RB20 F1 car after making an ominous start to pre-season testing.

(L to R): Rupert Manwaring (GBR) Red Bull Racing Performance Coach with Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing. Formula 1
(L to R): Rupert Manwaring (GBR) Red Bull Racing Performance Coach with…

As was the case last year, Max Verstappen and Red Bull were in total control as F1 2024 track action kicked off with pre-season testing in Bahrain.

Verstappen ominously finished over a second clear of the competition and logged more laps than any other driver with a commanding performance on the first of three testing days ahead of the new season.

The three-time world champion was 1.14s quicker than McLaren’s Lando Norris and racked up an immense 142 laps as he put his new Red Bull RB20 through its paces for the first time.

Once Verstappen had ironed out some early handling gremlins, the Dutchman looked at one with his new challenger and appeared able to comfortably extract performance from it.

“It feels good to be back in an F1 car again and I had fun out on track today,” he summarised at the end of the day.

“We covered a lot of laps and tried quite a few things with the car, which was important, so happy overall with how it went.

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB20. Formula 1 Testing, Sakhir, Bahrain, Day One.-, EMail:
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB20. Formula 1 Testing, Sakhir,…

“After the winter break, the first few laps always surprise you a little but then you get back into the swing of things pretty quickly. Overall, the car was responding well and considering this was only testing we had a nice day.

“Looking to tomorrow, we are speaking to our engineers about what the plans will be, but I am looking forward to getting into the car in the afternoon.”

Verstappen’s race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase said Red Bull “got the answers we needed to” from the RB20.

“The winter break was fairly short this year but, nonetheless, the amount of work which has gone into the car has been impressive as usual,” he explained.

“We came to Bahrain with a few unknowns around a relatively new car, but we have tested most of the fundamentals on day one and got the answers we needed to.

“Now we have a solid base to take onto days two and three, when Checo [Sergio Perez] takes over the car in the morning.”

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