Horner Steals Spotlight Despite Verstappen’s Efforts

The 2024 Formula 1 season kicked off with winter testing in Bahrain, where teams showcased their new cars with varying degrees of success, Max Verstappen demonstrated dominance, and Christian Horner’s situation remained a focal point amidst discussions on team strategies and performances.


‣ The 2024 Formula 1 season commenced with winter testing in Bahrain, drawing attention to the performance of new cars, with some teams surprising positively and others negatively.

‣ Max Verstappen showed dominance in the RB20 during the testing sessions, while the Christian Horner case continues to be a significant topic within the F1 community.

‣ Teams like VCARB and Aston Martin stood out positively during the testing, whereas Haas, McLaren, Alpine, and Stake faced challenges, showcasing the competitive landscape of the upcoming season.

‣ Toto Wolff’s comments on Christian Horner’s case highlighted the ongoing discussions and speculations within F1, emphasizing the importance of maintaining certain limits within the sport.

Ah, the 2024 Formula 1 season kicked off. Winter testing in Bahrain, folks. New cars hit the track. Some teams? They wowed us. Others, not so much. And yeah, Max Verstappen’s on fire, but all eyes are still on Christian Horner’s drama.

It’s a sunny day, barely hitting 20 degrees. Like any eager journalist, I made my way from Manama to the Bahrain International Circuit. First stop? The accreditation centre for my week-long pass. Then, off to the paddock. Sleep? Who needs it when you’ve got the thrill of the F1 paddock? Despite a measly two hours of shut-eye, thanks to a late flight, the buzz of being here never gets old. It’s my tenth time, but it feels just as exhilarating as the first.

Standing in Max Verstappen’s garage, I realized I was the odd one out without a vest. A security oversight, perhaps. But after a quick chat with some Dutch colleagues, I decided not to push my luck. Getting kicked out wasn’t on my agenda.

Spotlight on Bahrain

Vest on, I found my spot in the media centre for the week. It was quiet, perfect for picking a prime location near the screens.

Not just any vest, but one for the pitlane and another for trackside. Along with two colleagues, we explored the circuit’s hotspots. Turn 10 was our target. It’s fascinating to see the cars’ handling and acceleration. VCARB 01 and Aston Martin impressed us. Stake? Not so much.

From there, we checked out the first corner combo. The late braking, the acceleration out of turn one, and the cars’ performance through turns two and three highlighted the differences. Verstappen’s RB20 seemed a bit shaky at first but improved as the session went on.

VCARB and Aston Martin continued to impress. Ferrari, Red Bull, and Williams looked solid. Haas, McLaren, Alpine, and Stake? They’ve got work to do. Haas was sluggish, McLaren unsettled, Stake struggled with understeer, and Alpine lacked confidence on the throttle. And Mercedes? They were MIA due to issues.

Wolff weighs in on Horner’s saga

Back in the paddock, Verstappen topped the timesheets again. Winter test times are one thing, but the ease with which he sets them speaks volumes. The press conferences brought a mix of topics. Ricciardo’s future at Red Bull and Sainz and Perez’s plans were hot topics.

The afternoon session was juicier. Toto Wolff and Frederic Vasseur discussed their new car concepts for 2024. Can they catch up to Red Bull? They’re hopeful, step by step. Horner’s situation also came up. Wolff’s response was diplomatic but firm: there are lines you don’t cross in F1.

Horner still the buzz in Bahrain

Post-conference, I headed to Red Bull Racing’s hospitality. Pierre Waché shared insights on the RB20’s aggressive development and their main rivals for 2024. Stay tuned for the full interview on GPblog.com.

As I left Red Bull, I spotted Christian Horner, casually dressed, chatting with Raymond Vermeulen. Despite rumors of Horner’s departure, there was no tension in the air. A reporter from Viaplay Finland hinted at a decision about Horner’s future, but my paddock inquiries suggested otherwise. It was mere speculation.

I also ventured into the pit lane, focusing on Mercedes and Aston Martin after a tip from Waché. Mercedes’ front wing caught my eye.

Red Bull shines in Bahrain

Trackside, the RB20 looked much improved. Ferrari’s balance seemed fine, while McLaren struggled for stability. Aston Martin flew under the radar but appeared competitive. Alpine and Williams were okay, not standout. Stake and Haas faced challenges, particularly in handling and speed through corners.

The first day in Bahrain wrapped up quietly, but Thursday promises more. Horner’s expected to join the team bosses’ press conference, likely facing questions about his situation. With five drivers having tested their new cars, we’ll have more insights to share.

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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