F1 News, Reports and Race Results

Verstappen happy to ‘get back in the swing of things’

Max Verstappen enjoyed a solid start to pre-season testing in Bahrain on Wednesday, the Red Bull charger putting the team’s new RB20 through its paces without a hint of an issue.

Verstappen’s concluded his smooth kickoff with the fastest lap overall by a comfortable margin of 1.140s over McLaren’s Lando Norris.

But more importantly, the reigning world champions were able to work diligently through their various run programs thanks to an incident free day, with Verstappen putting 143 laps under his belt, the most of any driver.

“It feels good to be back in an F1 car again and I had fun out on track today,” he commented at the end of the day.

“We covered a lot of laps and tried quite a few things with the car, which was important, so happy overall with how it went.

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“After the winter break, the first few laps always surprise you a little but then you get back into the swing of things pretty quickly.

“Overall, the car was responding well and considering this was only testing we had a nice day. Looking to tomorrow, we are speaking to our engineers about what the plans will be, but I am looking forward to getting into the car in the afternoon.”

Verstappen’s faithful sidekick and partner in crime, Red Bull head of race engineering Gian Piero Lambaise gave the Milton Keynes-based outfit’s new RB20 a clean bill of health, highlighting the early “solid base” that has already been established.

"The winter break was fairly short this year but, nonetheless, the amount of work which has gone into the car has been impressive as usual,” said GP.

“We came to Bahrain with a few unknowns around a relatively new car, but we have tested most of the fundamentals on day one and got the answers we needed to.

“Now we have a solid base to take onto days two and three, when Checo takes over the car in the morning."

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Phillip van Osten

Motor racing was a backdrop from the outset in Phillip van Osten's life. Born in Southern California, Phillip grew up with the sights and sounds of fast cars thanks to his father, Dick van Osten, an editor and writer for Auto Speed and Sport and Motor Trend. Phillip's passion for racing grew even more when his family moved to Europe and he became acquainted with the extraordinary world of Grand Prix racing. He was an early contributor to the monthly French F1i Magazine, often providing a historic or business perspective on Formula 1's affairs. In 2012, he co-authored along with fellow journalist Pierre Van Vliet the English-language adaptation of a limited edition book devoted to the great Belgian driver Jacky Ickx. He also authored "The American Legacy in Formula 1", a book which recounts the trials and tribulations of American drivers in Grand Prix racing. Phillip is also a commentator for Belgian broadcaster Be.TV for the US Indycar series.

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