In Brief

F1: Max Verstappen keeps calm despite Red Bull’s impressive start

Renault are determined to show improvement at the Bahrain Grand Prix

Max Verstappen insists that while securing a podium spot at the Australian Grand Prix was “really positive” his Red Bull team won’t be getting too excited.

Verstappen finished third in the Honda-powered Red Bull in Melbourne as Mercedes duo Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton swept to a one-two down under.

Although it was Honda’s first Formula 1 podium since 2008 Planet F1 reports that Verstappen does not think the team pecking order will really be known until the Chinese GP in April.

The 21-year-old said: “Starting the season with a podium in Australia is really positive but Melbourne is not a typical circuit, so we can’t get carried away. I don’t think we will really know where we stand until after China.”

This weekend it’s the F1 Bahrain Grand Prix and Verstappen is hoping for exciting racing under the lights in Sakhir.

“I enjoy the track and the transition from day to night is a challenge in terms of car balance, so that always makes it an interesting weekend,” Verstappen added.

“You never really know where you stand when you start qualifying because you haven’t had the optimal preparation as the track conditions aren’t the same during practice.

“The middle sector, which is quite technical, is the best part of the Bahrain circuit and I hope it’s good for racing again this year.”

Renault seek improvement in Bahrain

The Australian GP was a mixed weekend for Renault after Nico Hulkenberg finished seventh and Daniel Ricciardo was forced to retire.

This week in Bahrain Sky Sports reports that the French team will be bringing upgrades and are “determined to show more” in the midfield battle.

Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul said: “We have to underline the step we’ve made on the engine side, and the second grand prix of 2019 is an opportunity to showcase that. We will bring some aero updates, as we will do at every race.”

The F1 Bahrain Grand Prix takes place on Sunday 31 March at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir (4.10pm start UK time).

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