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Max to drive the RB20 at first day of pre-season test: 'Looking forward to it'

Published on 20 February 2024 by Heidi De Love

The 2024 Formula 1 campaign starts in earnest with the only pre-season of the year taking place at the Bahrain International Circuit from Wednesday 21 February until Friday 23 February. The ten F1 teams are allowed to run one car during the test, meaning that drivers are limited to a day and a half of track time.

Max Verstappen will start the test for Oracle Red Bull Racing, with the three time world champion driving the new RB20 on Wednesday. The Dutchman is scheduled to drive the whole day, with team mate Sergio Perez steering the 2024-spec Red Bull all day on Friday. The pair will split driving duties on Thursday, with Max finishing his pre-season test in the afternoon.

During a filming day on Tuesday 13 February, the shakedown of the RB20 took place at a rainy Silverstone. Despite the conditions being far from ideal, and regulations stipulating the team could only use Pirelli’s hard demonstration tyres, Max was able to get an early impression of the new car.

“It’s a shame it rained, but the first feeling was good. I felt comfortable and that’s the main thing. We checked a lot of things, but now I’m really looking forward to Bahrain and to really get to know the car.”

A week after the test, the first Grand Prix of the season will be held at the Bahrain International Circuit. The race, normally scheduled for Sunday, will take place on Saturday due to Ramadan. The following round, the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix will run its race on Saturday as well for the same reason.