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MOTORSPORTS | Feb 22

F1 Pre-Season Testing: Max Verstappen Is Still Insanely Fast

Verstappen Delivered a Statement in Practice, but Sainz, Norris, Ricciardo, and Hamilton Showcased Their Magic

F1 Pre-Season Testing: Max Verstappen Is Still Insanely Fast
VERSTAPPEN Max, Red Bull Racing RB20, | Eric Alonso / Dppi Media / Dppi Via Afp

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For a hot minute there, it felt like maybe, just maybe, we’d see a real fight for the title this year…

Alright, fellow F1 news fanatics, grab your helmets and strap in because the first two days of pre-season testing in Bahrain just gave us a taste of the rollercoaster ride we’re in for this season. And let me tell you, it’s shaping up to be one heck of a ride.

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So, what went down on the tarmac? Well, let’s start with the big kahuna himself, Max Verstappen. The man barely broke a sweat on day one before he decided to flex his muscles and remind everyone why he’s the reigning champ. Seriously, the dude didn’t even let us daydream for 5 minutes before he swooped in and snatched back the top spot on the timing sheets. Talk about sending a message loud and clear – the RB20 means business, folks.


But hey, let’s give credit where credit’s due. Lando Norris gave us a glimmer of hope when he briefly stole the spotlight, topping the charts in the second session. I mean, for a hot minute there, it felt like maybe, just maybe, we’d see a real fight for the title this year. But alas, Verstappen had other plans, dropping a bomb of a lap time and leaving us all in his dust.


And how about McLaren, huh? Remember when they were struggling to keep up with the big dogs last year? Well, it looks like they’ve hit the ground running this time around. Norris and his partner-in-crime, Oscar Piastri, are showing some serious promise, both finishing in the top ten on day one. Looks like McLaren might just be a force to be reckoned with this season – watch out, Verstappen.


But wait, there’s more! Daniel Ricciardo, aka the smiling assassin, pulled off a solid P4 finish, putting VCARB – yes, that’s the new name for Red Bull Racing pet team this season – in the mix right from the get-go. With the RB01 taking cues from last year’s RB19, there’s reason to believe they’ll be a force on the track this season. and with F1 rumors that Checo Perez could leave for Mercedes next season, Ricciardo wanted to prove his worth this season to get the second seat at Red Bull.

Now, onto the not-so-great news. Williams had a bit of a rough start, dealing with some pesky reliability issues that cut their day short. But hey, better to get those kinks ironed out now than during the season, right? And let’s not forget about Aston Martin and Ferrari, who both had solid showings. Looks like we’re in for some exciting battles on race day.

If day one was all about Verstappen flexing his muscles, day two was the ultimate plot twist – courtesy of Carlos Sainz and Ferrari.


Now, I know what you’re thinking. Verstappen was supposed to be the undisputed king of the track, right? Not today, With a blazing lap that left even the RB20 in the dust, Sainz sent shockwaves through the paddock, putting serious doubt into the “Verstappen is World Champion already” theory.

But let’s back up a bit. Day two started with some drama as Sergio Perez’s RB20 suffered a rough day, leaving the door wide open for Sainz to steal the show. And steal it, he did. With a jaw-dropping lap that left everyone in awe, Sainz made it clear that Ferrari is here to play ball this season.


Lewis Hamilton managed to keep his cool, securing a spot in the top three despite Mercedes giving him a sh*tload of heat. Don’t forget about Lando Norris, who proved once again that he’s a high contender, popping up in P3 when it mattered most.

So, what’s the verdict? Well, it’s still early days, my friends. But if any indication, we’re in for one hell of an F1 schedule this season. Strap in, grab your popcorn, and get ready for some heart-stopping action because Formula 1, 2024 is about to take us on the ride of our lives.

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