Red Bull Issues Scary Warning to F1 Teams on Bahrain Day 1: Test Report

Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing dominated the first day of Formula 1 pre-season testing in Bahrain, leading their closest rivals McLaren by 1.1 seconds, with Verstappen completing over 140 laps and showcasing a new cooling system that could hint at continued dominance in the season.

Highlights

‣ Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing showcased their dominance in the first day of pre-season testing in Bahrain, with Verstappen posting a lap time significantly faster than his rivals and completing more than 140 laps.

‣ Red Bull introduced a new three-part cooling system, allowing for a ‘zeropod’ design similar to Mercedes’ 2022 attempt, which appears to be effective based on Verstappen’s performance.

‣ McLaren emerged as the closest challengers to Red Bull, with Lando Norris finishing 1.140 seconds behind Verstappen, despite a slow start to his session due to car adjustments.

‣ Mercedes faced disappointment on the opening day of testing, with a new car concept that has yet to show the desired results, leaving their performance and strategy uncertain.


Max Verstappen and his team at Red Bull Racing just threw down the gauntlet. After a blistering lap in Bahrain, they’re clearly not here to play. It’s only the first day of pre-season testing, but wow, they’re already 1.1 seconds ahead of McLaren. And get this – Verstappen was a whole 1.5 seconds faster than his day one time last year. Crazy, right?

### Domination to continue?
Now, it’s super early days. We all know that. But, if you were hoping to catch Red Bull this season, today’s results might feel like a cold shower. They’ve rolled out with this fancy new three-part cooling system. It’s kinda like what Mercedes tried last year but seems to be doing wonders for Verstappen. The guy did over 140 laps today. That’s like, double a Grand Prix distance, in Bahrain heat!

He did have softer tyres than some of the others, sure. But it’s not every day you see the top dogs pushing this hard right out of the gate. By the end of 2023, it looked like McLaren and Ferrari were the ones to watch, with Norris and Sainz trailing right behind Red Bull. Yet, no major performance runs today. Hmm.

The track was pretty calm, too. No major oopsies or red flags during the eight hours. But, that turn 10 was catching a few out with lock-ups. Williams had a bit of a rough start – Albon had to stop on track, and Sargeant spun out. They wrapped up with a driveshaft issue. Not ideal.

McLaren kept it low-key, focusing on their plan, or so they told GPblog. Piastri managed 57 laps, which is decent. Albon’s stop on the track gave us a mini heart attack, but no red flags were thrown.

### McLaren look like the closest challengers
Norris is trailing Verstappen by 1.140 seconds. Not too shabby, especially after a rocky start. He had to chill for a bit before hitting the track, thanks to some under-the-hood tinkering. Behind Norris, things were tight, but Daniel Ricciardo in the VCARB (gotta love that name) snagged fourth fastest, just a hair behind Norris.

And then there’s Mercedes. Oh, Mercedes. They’ve switched things up again, but so far, no fireworks in Bahrain. It’s all hush-hush on their run plan, but curiosity’s killing the cat here.

So, day one’s in the books. Red Bull’s looking fierce, McLaren’s not too far off, and Mercedes? Well, it’s anyone’s guess. Here’s to more surprises as testing continues. Who knows what tomorrow brings?

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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