Verstappen remains in charge as test Day 1 draws to a close

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F1 Test, Sakhir, Bahrain International Circuitbh

Max Verstappen continued to impress at the hands of the brand new Red Bull RB20, leaving the competition nowhere near his performance. Closest rival Norris was more than a second off in a session that saw amazing reliability and no stoppages.

Over noon several teams switched drivers. Leclerc stepped out of the Ferrari in favour of Sainz. At McLaren it was Norris' time to get into the car, Stroll took over the Aston Martin, Gasly replaced Ocon as Sargeant, Zhou, Hulkenberg and Ricciardo all stepped in. Only Verstappen and Russell continued on from the morning session.

Many were out quickly but for Norris it was a slow start to the afternoon. With his team working on the MCL38 he had to wait 53 minutes before being able to get out on track. But when he eventually did and got to grips with the McLaren, Norris topped Verstappen to go fastest just before the halfway mark of the afternoon session.

Half an hour from the end of the session, Verstappen recorded yet another improvement on the C3 tyres. He went fastest in the first and second sector and missed the benchmark in S3 by just 0.001 seconds, totalling a laptime of 1:31.344, putting him more than a full second clear of nearest rival Lando Norris.

Many cars were spotted with flowviz during this afternoon, perhaps also Strake F1 but their car is so green already that any flowviz would be difficult to see. On the Aston, despite it's brighter green colour this year it is visible as Stroll lapped with nearly the entire left hand side of the car cladded with aerodynamic visualisation paint. During that run the Canadian dropped a mirror which Nico Hulkenberg shredded to pieces when he ran over the piece.

On the reliability front, no team endured major problems with all enjoying a solid amount of laps completed.