Max Verstappen was hampered by an unexplained issue during the opening practice session of the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend.
That’s according to Dr Helmut Marko, who explained the team is confident that the issue will be resolved for the second session on Friday afternoon.
Sergio Perez was the fastest driver in the first practice session of the 2023 Formula 1 season, setting a 1:32.758.
The Mexican driver bested Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso to the top, while reigning World Champion Max Verstappen was third fastest.
However, Verstappen was over six-tenths of a second off his team-mate.
It marked a strange start for Verstappen, who was renowned for his ability to get up to speed from the get-go in 2022.
However, Marko has weighed in that there may have been an underlying issue with Verstappen’s car during the outing.
“With Max, we have a change in driving behaviour that we can’t really explain at the moment,” Marko commented, speaking to Sky Germany.
“The temperatures are a bit different. But we have to find out what’s going on there and why the car doesn’t react at all, in contrast to what happened during the test.”
Red Bull enjoyed a trouble-free pre-season test and has been tipped as the favourites heading into the new campaign.
Marko expressed confusion as to why the handling issues seemed to only impact one car during the session.
“We can definitely fix that by the next practice session,” Marko said. “It only occurred on one of the two cars, which should theoretically be set up the same.”
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