Max Verstappen says this year’s pre-season test has been his best in Formula 1 but warned it provides “no guarantees” heading into the new campaign.
Verstappen has regularly been one of Mercedes’ primary challengers since joining Red Bull in 2016, taking 10 victories, and finished third in last year’s championship.
Verstappen fronted Friday’s running in Bahrain before setting the overall quickest time of the test on Sunday afternoon.
Red Bull has not put up a sustained title challenge in Formula 1’s hybrid era and has traditionally started season slowly, only once – in 2011 – claiming victory in the year’s first event.
Mercedes, meanwhile, had a subdued test, prompting the team to believe it is slower than Red Bull, with Lewis Hamilton expecting Red Bull to be a “different animal” in 2021.
“Yeah definitely I think it has been the best [pre-season] but it doesn’t give you any guarantees so we’ll find out at the first race weekend where we are,” said Verstappen.
“I think from our side it has been very smooth and happy with the progress we made throughout the test.”
Red Bull endured wild moments through the early stages of 2020 with a skittish car but Verstappen was buoyed by the rear-end stability provided by the RB16B, in spite of the changes made to the floor under revised regulations.
“We always look into what we can improve and for sure there are things we want to work on but I guess every team is like that,” said Verstappen on current weaknesses.
“There are a lot of changes with the floor so it is difficult [to fully assess the situation] – you know you’re going to lose a bit of downforce on the car but so far it has been quite a stable car so it’s nice.”