The first 2021 FIA Formula One World Championship pre-season test finished on Sunday around the Bahrain International Circuit with Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen top and Scuderia AlphaTauri’s exciting rookie Yuki Tsunoda completing a Honda-engined one-two.
The Dutchman edged out the young Japanese driver by just 0.093s as Verstappen’s new teammate Sergio Perez topped the morning session on C4 tyres and Frenchman Pierre Gasly got 76 laps under his belt.
After three valuable testing days, the F1 roadshow returns to Sakhir for the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix on March 28.
“It was another good day and we got through the whole programme. Conditions were a bit different to day one so we had to adjust the car a bit as we went along but from our side, it was very smooth, as it has been throughout the whole test. I think we can say it has been a good weekend but of course that doesn’t give you any guarantees and all teams are doing different programmes at testing. We always look into what we can improve and for sure there are still things we want to work on but I think all teams will have that. We’ll find out for sure in a couple of weeks in Q3 where we really are but in general, I would say the car feels good and I’m looking forward to going racing.”
“It’s crazy to think that pre-season has already finished, it feels like it only just started. I think this is the shortest pre-season ever in my career! There’s a very limited amount of running and testing but we managed to work through a lot of set-up options and are improving every time we get into the car. I’m very excited about the season and I think we’ve got a good car underneath us but I still have a lot to learn in the car to get the maximum out of it. The Team is doing a fantastic job. It doesn’t really matter where we start in Bahrain, it matters where we finish in Abu Dhabi. Now we just want to look forward to the race weekend. We’re going to take it step by step and be patient in the beginning and then things will come to us.”
Head of Race Engineering Guillaume Rocquelin
“Both sessions today were identical in terms of the run plan. As opposed to the first couple of days, today was more about trying to optimise the car and understand where we’re going, so shorter runs, more set-up items, a bit more time in the garage. We were still doing some development work but also really getting the crew and the drivers up to speed in terms of procedures and pit stops. It was a similar plan for both drivers and similar results for both. Overall, this has been a positive test phase. Three days are never going to be enough; I don’t think anyone would say they are, but in terms of the time available, what we got out of this test was very useful. We’ve got a really good base to build from and we’re looking forward to coming back to Bahrain in a couple of weeks.”