F1 pre-season testing: Four things we learned on day one as Max Verstappen goes fastest

The flying Dutchman continued from where he left off last year on day one of pre-season testing in Bahrain.

Preparations for the 2023 F1 campaign are now truly underway as fans watched on during day one of pre-season testing in Bahrain. 19 drivers and 10 teams took to the Sakhir track as they look to reach their peak in time for the season curtain-raiser on March 5. While it is still very early days, there were a few changes to the pecking order at the front of the grid on the opening day of pre-season testing. Express Sport looks at some takeaways from day one…

On day one Max Verstappen, entering the season as the two-time defending champion, set the pace this morning with the fastest time. The Dutchman would go on to end the day at the top of the leaderboard with a time of 1:32.837.

Following closely behind was the surprise name of Fernando Alonso, who impressed for his new team Aston Martin, while the pair of Ferrari Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc finished third and fourth fastest respectively, with the former suffering from some bouncing. Lewis Hamilton didn’t take to the track until after lunchtime and finished the day P6, sixth tenths behind leader Verstappen.

Mercedes teammate George Russell finished in ninth place and was over 1.3 seconds off the pace set by the Red Bull driver. Lando Norris was fifth for McLaren despite losing track time after the team needed to carry out “precautionary repairs” to his car.

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