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Max from Bahrain: 'Looks promising'

Published on 28 February 2024 by Florence Cobben

The first Grand Prix of 2024 is just around the corner. Max Verstappen looks ahead to raceday from the press conference in the Bahrain International Circuit: “We have had some good test days in Bahrain. We did a lot of laps and could finish our program. I felt comfortable in the car. So that all looks promising.”

The correlation between the simulator and the test runs on the track look good, Max confirms: “It was on track like we saw it in the wind tunnel, which is always good. We were happy with that. The long runs in the last afternoon looked really good.”

“Last year we were not so strong on streetcircuits, so it is a question of waiting and seeing if the RB20 is better”, Max explains. “In general, I feel I have a bit more grip and a bit better balance, so that is positive. But on the street circuits you have to deal with kerbstones and bumps and that makes it harder to tune the car properly."

After three consecutive world titles and a promising car-driver package, Max appears to be once again the shoo-in for world champion, even if the first meter has yet to be raced. However, Max is not read to predict the outcome just yet. "We are satisfied with what we have shown so far and of course we are always trying to find even more performance. A fine start, but on Friday during qualifying we will really see for ourselves."

Max adds: "Time will tell. I don't think about it too much. I wake up, go to the track and then see if the result is good or bad. That's how I approach it. Bahrain is one of many circuits on the calendar. We will have to perform time after time throughout the year. I am looking forward to the first race weekend."

The race in Bahrain will be held on Saturday (March 2), with free practice starting on Thursday and qualifying on Friday. This is also the case for the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix, scheduled for Saturday, March 9.

The beginning of Ramadan on Sunday, March 10  markes the reason the first two races will be held on Saturday instead of Sunday. This has been taken into account by the FIA. Because the races are back-to-back, this also required the race in Sakhir to be moved forward a day.