Max not at ‘full beans’ despite huge P1 margin

Jon Wilde
Max Verstappen on the final day of pre-season testing. Bahrain March 2022.

Max Verstappen has indicated he was almost seven-tenths faster than the rest in official testing without giving it “full beans”.

Day three of three in Bahrain was when Red Bull rolled out an upgraded RB18 complete with sculpted sidepods – and it took them to the top of the standings.

That was the case in both the morning and afternoon sessions, Sergio Perez setting the standard before lunch and Verstappen doing so in the last collective running before the start of the new campaign next weekend.

And the World Champion was not quickest by just a narrow margin – he smashed Ferrari out of the park even though the Scuderia had previously looked the team to beat throughout pre-season.

The margin was eventually 0.695sec over Charles Leclerc, with Verstappen the only driver to break the 1:32 barrier.

He then suggested there had been plenty more in the locker, even though it was clearly a qualifying simulation on the softest C5 compound of tyres.

“Nobody is [giving it] full beans in qualifying spec at the moment,” said Verstappen, quoted by

“Of course [the car is] better in low fuel and actually on the high fuel the car…doesn’t really do a lot, but it’s the same for everyone.”

The 24-year-old insisted the priority had been merely to gather data in relation to the new 18-inch tyres rather than the team flexing their muscles to remind Mercedes and Ferrari they will be strong championship contenders again this year.

“It was just a general progression of the day and we were just trying a few different tyres,” said Verstappen. “I think the main focus was about the tyres we will use next week.

“But the car was feeling all right and we went through our programme which we planned to do, and that’s always positive.”

There were also the different conditions to factor in at Bahrain compared to Barcelona – this week’s venue having been much hotter and windier than Spain.

“Compared to Barcelona I think more of it is just the track – the rough surface, warmer conditions and the layout of the track makes it a completely different feeling compared to Barcelona,” added Verstappen.

“Of course I think we learned a lot more about the cars, so we made the car faster and I think that’s what you want.”


Regarding the updates on the car, he added: “I think with the new parts, which arrived today, they also worked well, which you always hope for.

“They worked, so then hopefully we will keep them on [for the opening race].”


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