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Hamilton surprises with top spot in Bahrain practice; Verstappen trails in sixth

Posted : 01 March 2024

In an unexpected turn of events, Lewis Hamilton led his Mercedes teammate, George Russell, to secure the top two positions in Thursday's practice sessions for the Bahrain Grand Prix.


Hamilton posted a fastest lap time of 1:30.374, with Russell trailing by 0.206 seconds, while Fernando Alonso of Aston Martin claimed the third spot. Surprisingly, reigning champion Max Verstappen from Red Bull found himself in the sixth position, 0.477 seconds behind Hamilton.


Hamilton acknowledged the surprise, stating, "It's a shock to see us where we are, but we'll take it for now." However, he remained cautious, emphasizing the need to focus on continuous improvement in setup and long-run pace.


Despite the impressive performance in the practice sessions, Hamilton recognized that there is work to be done, particularly in matching the long-run pace of the Red Bull team.


Max Verstappen, who entered the weekend as a favorite for the Bahrain Grand Prix, faced an unexpected setback, finishing in sixth place in both practice sessions.


Verstappen's performance, notably his position outside the top five, raised eyebrows as he aims to commence his pursuit of a fourth consecutive Formula One title.


The practice leaderboard also saw notable performances from Carlos Sainz in fourth place for Ferrari, McLaren's Oscar Piastri in fifth, and Nico Hulkenberg placing Haas in seventh.


The unexpected order at the top adds an intriguing dynamic to the season opener, leaving fans and experts curious about the upcoming qualifying and race performances.


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