Aggressive Red Bull Upgrades & Mercedes Lower Lap Count Test Report

Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing led the opening test session for the 2024 Formula 1 season in Bahrain, showcasing aggressive upgrades despite their dominance in 2023, while Mercedes, Haas, and Williams faced various issues, but no major mechanical problems occurred during the session.

Highlights

‣ Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing led the opening test session for the 2024 Formula 1 season, showcasing aggressive upgrades despite their dominance in the previous season.

‣ Mercedes, Haas, and Williams encountered issues during the test session, with Mercedes making adjustments after Lewis Hamilton‘s feedback, Haas dealing with a fuel system problem, and Williams’ Alex Albon experiencing an engine shutdown.

Fernando Alonso was the busiest driver, completing over 75 laps and finishing third fastest, while Verstappen set the unbeatable fastest lap time.

‣ Red Bull’s RB20 featured three cooling inlets, adopting a strategy similar to Mercedes’ 2022 design, which aimed to address cooling issues.


Max Verstappen and his team, Red Bull Racing, are off to a flying start. They’ve topped the charts in the first test session for the 2024 Formula 1 season. Over in Bahrain, they rolled out their beast of a car, now packed with even more aggressive upgrades. Despite their dominance last season, they’re not resting on their laurels. Interestingly, this test session was pretty smooth sailing. No major mechanical hiccups to report.

Now, onto Mercedes, Haas, and Williams – could there be trouble brewing? Early in the day, Russell hit the track but barely made it past 19 laps in the first couple of hours. After a pit stop and some poking around by the team, it was chalked up to “normal test adjustments.” A bit later, Russell was back on track. But, the Mercedes crew was seen fiddling with the pedal area. Maybe the steering column too? They’ve tweaked the cockpit setup for 2024, probably because Hamilton had a few complaints last year.

Kevin Magnussen had his own drama, spending a good 40 minutes in the garage. The issue? Something with the fuel system. Despite the hiccup, Haas managed to get back out there. Though, let’s just say, they weren’t setting any speed records in Bahrain. McLaren, on the other hand, kept things low-key, sticking to their plan, as they told GPblog. Piastri clocked in about 50 laps, with no major interruptions, even when Albon’s car decided to take a quick nap on the track. His engine just… stopped. Despite his efforts, Albon couldn’t get it going and had to be pushed away.

Fernando Alonso, the evergreen racer at 42, was the busiest of the lot. He clocked over 75 laps and snagged the third fastest time. Not too shabby, right? Verstappen, though, was in a league of his own. His lap time was unbeatable. Only Leclerc and Alonso could even get close. Piastri and Tsunoda also made impressive strides, with more than 50 laps under their belts. Russell managed sixth but was a whole 1.6 seconds slower than Verstappen. Ouch.

Verstappen’s RB20? It’s got a new look with three cooling inlets. Two on the side and one near the driver’s head. Seems like they’re borrowing a page from Mercedes’ 2022 playbook. But remember, Mercedes had a bit of a cooling issue. Let’s see if Red Bull can turn the tide. Testing’s not over yet. They’re taking a lunch break, but stay tuned for more updates.

Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez is a senior writer at F1Highlights.com. With a passion for motorsports, Albert brings a unique perspective to the world of Formula One. With over five years of experience as a sports reporter, he has honed his skills in capturing the essence of the sport.

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