Reigning Formula 1 World Champion Max Verstappen says he is not worried about the Mercedes W13 which has been the talking point from the moment Lewis Hamilton took to the track on the first day of Bahrain testing today.
Verstappen and Red Bull team boss Christian Horner were spotted staring intently at TV monitors in their pit garage, as Hamilton got his day underway in the radical, sidepod-less W13 which also pushes the limits of aero rules with their mirror-mounts.
The Dutchman spent Thursday monitoring proceedings with Sergio Perez in the Red Bull RB18 today on testing duty; Verstappen will be in the car all day Friday and share it with his teammate on Saturday.
On the day, the latest Silver Arrows has dominated the chatter during the first day of Bahrain F1 Testing has been, with Horner crying foul early in the morning but then retracting comments he made to Auto Motor und Sport.
Despite his denial, clearly, the extreme W13 has popped eyes in the Red Bull garage as well as up and down the pitlane, but Verstappen is unperturbed by all the talk.
During the lunch break at Sakhir, the reigning F1 World Champion told reporters he was not concerned about his rivals: “We can only focus on ourselves. I said this so many times last year and that’s what we’ve got to do again this year.
Even if the car looks different, there are so many unknown things still that we need to learn about. So I’m not worried at all,” declared Verstappen.
After Hamilton’s morning shift, George Russell took over the Mercedes W13 cockpit for the afternoon session.
F1 testing continues in Bahrain on Friday and Saturday, before the Grand Prix weekend kicks off a week later at the desert kingdom venue.
Last year’s race was won by Hamilton, after a thrilling battle with Verstappen which set the stage for the epic feud between the pair that continued all season.