Horner opens up on Red Bull's 'barren spell' amid Mercedes dominance
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Sergio Perez has admitted Red Bull struggled with some “problems” after the new car’s first run at Bahrain’s pre-season test. The Mexican admitted the team had noticed issues with their aero sensors and the balance of the car during their opening runs.
Max Verstappen is behind the wheel on day one with Perez set to get his first feel of the RB19 tomorrow. Perez said: “We had some problems this morning with some aero sensors that didn’t read well.
“The circuit is very bumpy and we all have problems with the balance of the car. It’s too early to know where we are. I really want to get on tomorrow”
However, the problems didn’t appear to affect Verstappen’s pace with the Dutchman topping the timesheets in the morning session. Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz was three-tenths slower in the first session despite setting the pace earlier on in the morning.
Verstappen was over a second quicker than Mercedes’ George Russell who could only manage P5. Red Bull is not the only team battling to solve some teething issues early on in day one.
Ex-Mercedes test driver Anthony Davidson noticed the Ferrari was porpoising around turn 12 despite the Italian marquee not struggling with the issue in 2022. Cameras also picked up a dimple on the end of the front nose which the team have since confirmed was not intentional.
Aston Martin’s test also got off to a poor start with Felipe Drugovich suffering a mechanical failure less than 10 minutes after the green flag this morning. F1 used to run multiple tests to allow teams to solve concerns ahead of the season.
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However, bosses decided to shorten the format back in 2021 with just three days of running allowed. Teams can only run one car meaning drivers will only have a day and half of preparation before the first Grand Prix next week.
Bull chief Helmut Marko has previously warned of the dangers of such a short amount of running. He explained: “You can’t do big tests – you’ll have to set times as quickly as possible
“It’s important that you already know at the first race a week later which setup you are going to start the weekend with – both in qualifying and in the race.”
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