Verstappen looking to regain 'rhythm' after Bahrain GP practice

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Max Verstappen admits he needs to regain his "rhythm" following a mixed Friday at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The serenity of pre-season testing was slightly disturbed during the first practice in Sakhir, as the two-time world champion found himself six-tenths behind teammate Sergio Perez and reporting "bouncing" from his Red Bull.

In the evening session, however, Verstappen recovered to finish second behind surprise pacesetter Fernando Alonso and was feeling more confident as a result.

“It was a difficult start to the day," the Dutchman conceded. "In FP1 we couldn’t get the balance right, which was a bit odd as we didn’t experience this in testing.

Also Read:

"From FP1 to FP2 we went in the right direction. In FP2 the short run laps weren’t too bad, the car felt a bit more connected and with the long runs, the pace was good. Overall the car isn’t too bad in the long runs.

"There’s still a bit more work to do. We know we have a competitive car, it’s just about putting all the pieces together. I just need to find my rhythm again."

Remove the final sandbags that Red Bull is carrying and Verstappen is still the clear favourite for both pole and victory in Bahrain.

But it is the pace of Alonso over both short and long runs that has stood out.

"The Aston Martins are looking competitive, you could see that already from testing," Max agreed.


As for Perez, he expects Red Bull to take another step on Saturday after revealing some experimental work during practice. 

“It was quite tricky out there, the temperature from morning to afternoon changes quite a lot so the only representative session was this evening," he explained.

"We have some work to do over one lap and that should automatically put us in better shape for the long run. We explored the car a bit today and generally, we have a good idea of how to set it up for tomorrow.

"I think everything is close at the top, certainly Aston Martin and Ferrari look strong, and I think it is going to go down to who puts the best lap together in qualifying - and who has the better race pace on Sunday.”