Verstappen happy with 'improved' Red Bull after Day 1 of testing

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Max Verstappen declared himself happy with the new Red Bull after Day 1 of pre-season testing in Barcelona.

The Dutchman enjoyed a full day of running in the RB16 and completed the most laps for a single driver with 168, just five behind the combined total of both Mercedes drivers.

His final lap time of 1m17.516s was also good enough for fourth fastest, albeit six-tenths down on the pace set by Lewis Hamilton.

But that gap didn't bother Max, who reported a good early feeling in his new Honda-powered ride.

“The car is faster everywhere, which is a good thing and the reliability seems even better,” Verstappen said. “So that’s all very positive.

"We definitely have improved the car in areas we wanted to. We did a lot of laps to test all the parts out and see where we can improve it further.

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"It’s been a good day and the car has been working really well together with the engine,” he added. "That’s what we want to see and that’s the most important thing.

"I’m very happy about that, we just want to learn the car, try things on the car and look through the data and see what we can improve.”

Though the day saw no red flags, Verstappen did cause two yellows with spins at Turn 13 just before the final chicane.

“I touched once the gravel and that’s why I spun,” he explained.

“Those things can happen when you are trying to see the limits of what the car can do. Those things are part of it but luckily no damage which is the most important.”

Despite his satisfaction, the 22-year-old still isn't ready to give the Red Bull has passed its "first test".

“No, the first test will be Melbourne,” he replied.

Teammate Alex Albon will step into the car on Thursday before the two drivers split duties on Friday.