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alonso verstappen

Alonso says 19 drivers know Max will be world champion

alonso verstappen Alonso says 19 drivers know Max will be world champion

Fernando Alonso all but crowned Max Verstappen the 2024 Formula 1 World Champion a week before the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix next week, based on evidence of what the Red Bull RB20 showed during three days of preseason testing at Sakhir.

Verstappen topped the timing screens by a 1.1-second margin on Friday, when he spent the full day in the benchmark raising Red Bull RB20. Thereafter the World Champs allowed Ferrari to strut their stuff on softer tyres to ‘claim’ the satirical ‘Testing World Champs‘ title for the three days at BIC.

The “WOW” factor oozed from the Adrian Newey-penned masterpiece the moment the covers came off of it, ominously the RB20 was also hot out of the box in Verstappen’s hands and looked the most planted and stable of all ten new F1 cars, all of which appears to be improvements (in varying degrees) to the 2023 iterations.

Although Sergio Perez did not quite find the sweetspot as his teammate, he was not complaining. Red Bull have again edged ahead by some margin which seems to be the consensus, speaking to reporters in Bahrain Alonso predicted: “I don’t have a crystal ball to know what the others are doing.

“I think Max is the world champion and Red Bull is dominating. Also, the concept that they presented this year, it’s also a surprise. At the moment, we just have to watch them and see how they perform.

“I think 19 drivers in the paddock now will think [they] will not win the championship. It happens 99% of the time in your career. This is a brutal sport,” reckoned F1’s most experienced driver.

Leading the Red Bull chase probably Ferrari, McLaren… Aston Martin?

alonso Leading the Red Bull chase probably Ferrari, McLaren... Aston Martin?

Behind the Red Bull’s, much like last year, it seems to be extremely close with Ferrari and McLaren probably the next best, and a couple of surprises. There is a suspicion that the Aston Martin AMR24 may be a handy piece of kit and the best of it will only be seen on Bahrain Grand Prix weekend.

After his stint in the car, Alonso reported: “It’s all very compressed and you are trying to work out where you are. The car is a step forward and we’re happy with the data and feeling. I think everyone has made a step forward this year.

“We’ve seen the concepts of the car and ideas are more or less the same, so I think it’s going to be very tight and intense. ” I will do some setup changes to see where this car can operate and what window we need to move. The rest is well known. The track is well known and the tyres are the same as last year, so we can save a bit of time with that.”

“We have tried to learn as much as possible during this test and focused on ourselves. It would be nice to have the predictions and knowledge of where everyone is but that is not the case in testing.

“We will know more next week after Qualifying. It was good to get a number of laps on the board over the three days and I feel fit and ready to go for the start of the new season,” added Alonso ahead of his 379th Grand Prix start, when the season kicks off in Bahrain next week.

Big Question: How far ahead are Red Bull? A 1-2 at the Bahrain Grand Prix?