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Max Verstappen quickest in afternoon session of F1 pre-season testing day 1

Max Verstappen shows Red Bull Racing’s and Honda’s form by setting the best lap of the opening day of Formula 1 pre-season testing in Bahrain.

After a short break, the Formula 1 pre-season testing resumed at Bahrain International Circuit on Friday afternoon. However, weather proved to be a factor in the second session – a huge sandstorm broke on the track. The track became misty and full of sand. That slowed the flow up at the start of the session.

Esteban Ocon and Nikita Mazepin were the first drivers to drive around the track in the session. The conditions were quite challenging because of poor visibility and sand on the track surface, which was much enough to create the spraying effect. Alpine and Haas drivers had long runs. It was also the turn for another Formula 1 rookie Yuki Tsunoda to make his first laps at the testing.

Struggles continued for Aston Martin – they delayed the start of their program due to electronics issues. After setting not representative lap times, Lance Stroll made it to set the fourth fastest lap time – 1:31.782.

Lewis Hamilton also made his first outing in the Mercedes F1 W12 car in the afternoon. The 7-time world champion was more than 2 seconds away from the best lap time of the day as Mercedes had had a difficult day overall.

The drivers tried to find the limits of their new vehicles and that resulted in numerous lock-ups and spins. The most significant incidents were the spins of Carlos Sainz and Nikita Mazepin in turn 11. The session also ended under the Virtual Safety Car.

Despite the sand, the lap times kept improving and we saw new faces on the top of the standings. Max Verstappen set the fastest lap of the afternoon session and the entire day – 1:30.674. Lando Norris also displayed McLaren’s speed on Friday as he was only 0.215s to the Dutchman. Esteban Ocon completed the top 3 of the session with the 0.472s gap to Verstappen.

Lap times of afternoon session of Formula 1 pre-season testing:

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