‘Everything’s s***’, rants Max Verstappen after disastrous first practice session of new season.. with shock name top

MAX VERSTAPPEN was left raging after he only posted the sixth fastest time in the first practice session in Bahrain.

The 2024 Formula 1 season gets underway this weekend with the opening Grand Prix set for lights out on Saturday.

Max Verstappen was left raging after the first practice sessionReuters

AFPThe defending champion was thoroughly unhappy with his car[/caption]

Dutchman Verstappen, 26, is the overwhelming favourite to clinch a fourth successive drivers’ championship this year.

But he made a poor start to the weekend as he finished the opening practice session on Friday more than three tenths of a second off the pace.

Former Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo, who now races for their junior team, RB, surprised the paddock by posting the fastest time of the session.

The Australian, 34, pipped Lando Norris by three hundredths, with Oscar Piastri, Ricciardo’s team-mate Yuki Tsunoda, and Fernando Alonso rounding out the top five.

Verstappen came next ahead of George Russell, Charles Leclerc, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

The other Red Bull, Sergio Perez, finished down in 12th.

Alpine and Haas propped up the back of the grid, with Nico Hulkenberg a huge five seconds adrift of Ricciardo.

But it was Verstappen that was livid as he addressed his team over the radio.

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The reigning world champion could be heard furiously saying: “Everything is s***. Like miles off.”

Despite the issues, Verstappen is still the huge favourite to win in Bahrain.

He enjoyed an unprecedented season in 2023, winning 19 of the 22 races.

Meanwhile, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was cleared of any wrongdoing on Wednesday after the conclusion of an investigation into allegations of inappropriate behaviour made by a female colleague.

A spokesman said: “The independent investigation into the allegations made against Mr Horner is complete, and Red Bull can confirm that the grievance has been dismissed.”

The team’s parent company confirmed the complainant “has a right of appeal”.

The spokesman added: “Red Bull is confident that the investigation has been fair, rigorous and impartial. 

“The investigation report is confidential and contains the private information of the parties and third parties who assisted in the investigation, and therefore we will not be commenting further out of respect for all concerned.

“Red Bull will continue striving to meet the highest workplace standards.”

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