Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas poked fun at Max Verstappen today during an official media event after the morning session of the final day of the three-day Bahrain pre-season test.
Bottas was sitting in the seat the driver who finishes in P3 typically sits in following a race or qualifying – and the Finn decided to take up this opportunity to fire a light-hearted joke at Verstappen.
“I’ve got your seat,” Bottas jokingly told Verstappen, who was seated alongside him for the press conference.
Verstappen frequently finished third last season, just behind the two Mercedes of Sir Lewis Hamilton and Bottas.
The Dutch ace will be hoping that the Red Bull RB16B, coupled with Honda’s new and improved power unit, will be competitive enough to allow him to take the fight to Mercedes in 2021.
Verstappen set the fastest lap time on the first day of testing, but Bottas topped the time sheet on Saturday.
In any case, given all the variables at play in testing – such as differing fuel loads, tyre compounds and experimentation with different parts – it’s difficult to take away much from the three-day test that has just concluded.
The season-opener at the same track on 28 March should provide us with a much better idea of the initial pecking order.