Max Verstappen says Formula 1’s three-day pre-season test in Bahrain was “definitely” his best since joining Red Bull.

Red Bull topped two of the three days of winter testing at the Bahrain International Circuit and enjoyed trouble-free running throughout as Verstappen and new teammate Sergio Perez racked up the miles.

The team’s testing form, coupled with Mercedes’ struggles, led reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton to warn that Red Bull will be a “different animal” in this year’s title race.

Asked if he felt it had been the strongest pre-season test of his F1 career after producing the fastest lap time on Day 3, Verstappen replied: “Yeah, definitely I think it has been the best.

"But it doesn't give you any guarantees. We'll find out through the first race weekend where we are.

“We did our programme, and compared to my first day [on Friday], the conditions were quite a bit different so we had to adjust the car a little bit to it,” he added. “But I think from our side it was very smooth and happy with our progress throughout the whole test.

“We always look into what we can improve. And for sure there are some things we want to work on. But I guess every team has that.”

Red Bull struggled with correlation issues and an unstable rear-end throughout 2020 but the early signs from pre-season testing indicated that the team has managed to address this weakness with its upgraded RB16B.

Verstappen hinted at some promising progress and confirmed that Red Bull’s 2021 F1 car is more stable to drive.

“So far, it's been quite a stable car, so it's nice,” the Dutchman said.

“There are a lot of changes made as well to the floor, so it's always a bit difficult once you know you'll lose a bit of downforce on the car with this floor.

“I’m looking forward to [the first race]. I guess everyone is now, but I personally find a race weekend a lot more interesting. But of course these days need to be done to understand the car better.”

 

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