It’s unknown how much we’ve recovered from testing and how much performance we’ve gained by the learnings, that’s something we’ll learn in practice and on Saturday and Sunday. At least I know the team has done everything we can in the short time but the season is so long.
“There’s no reason to panic, we just need to work hard.”
Other stand out performances were McLaren, who carried on their fine form from testing, with Norris P3 and Daniel Riccardo P9. Verstappen’s new team-mate Sergio Perez was sixth fastest.
Ferrari had a relatively positive morning, with Charles Leclerc 5th fastest, with new team-mate Carlos Sainz Jnr 8th.
The two Aston Martins were 12th and 13th respectively.
Second practice ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix gets underway at 3pm.