F1 live updates - Horner texts leaked, Verstappen takes pole ahead of Leclerc (2024)


The build-up to Saturday's season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix continues to centre around Red Bull boss Christian Horner, who's been cleared following an investigation into alleged inappropriate behaviour

F1 live updates - Horner texts leaked, Verstappen takes pole ahead of Leclerc (1)

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Alleged text messages sent between Christian Horner and one of his colleagues at Red Bull have been leaked following the conclusion of an investigation into allegations of inappropriate behaviour.

The supposed texts and images on WhatsApp - which Mirror Sport has seen - were leaked to members of the F1 paddock including FIA president Mohamed ben Sulayem, F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali, the nine other team principals and the media after Practice on Thursday and ahead of the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix this Saturday. Horner released a statement to once again strongly deny the allegations of inappropriate behaviour and maintain his innocence following Red Bull's investigation which saw him cleared.

The 50-year-old team principal now wants to focus on the season ahead, but the weekend didn't get off to a great start for his world champion driver. Max Verstappen vented his fury over the team radio, claiming that Red Bull's new car, the RB20, felt "miles off" what he expected during Practice.

It was, however, a better day for Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton, who topped the second Practice session. Hamilton was 0.206 seconds quicker than teammate George Russell, while Aston Martin veteran Fernando Alonso was just 0.08secs further behind.

Stay tuned throughout Friday as Mirror Sport brings you latest from Bahrain.

Samuel Meade

That's all from us

We'll be back tomorrow when we'll be treated to our first race of the season in Bahrain.

Samuel Meade

Brundle concerned Horner saga "is at the beginning rather than the end"

Formula 1 pundit Martin Brundle has said he feels the scandal involving Red Bull chief Christian Horner needs to be brought to an "absolute conclusion" amid concerns the sport is dealing with "the beginning of the story rather than the end of it".

“I think it’s indisputable that Formula One is all over the front pages, all over the internet, throughout the world, and it’s not about the racing or who is going to win this grand prix,” Brundle said. “I think it’s unquestionable that it’s not good for F1, what’s going on, and I do believe that some actions need to be taken to move this along and to bring this to an absolute conclusion.

“As I said earlier in the week, it feels like the beginning of the story rather than the end of it. But we will have to wait and see. All allegations have been denied. It’s just a horrible situation, whichever way you look at it.”

Samuel Meade

Wolff expected more pace from Merc

"I think P3 is ok, we thought we had a little bit more pace, three tenths off pole. Yesterday looked better, but we put the car in a sweet spot for tomorrow's race, at least that's what we hope. So, with P3, P9 so close the gaps, but we hope for more.

On Lewis Hamilton's performance he added: "Tiny margins, you get a tire in the optimum window, it's just two, three tenths difference and then you're right in the game.

"The set up changes today contributed to the performance. The beginning we thought, oh maybe we took too much of the performance off and sacrificed for tomorrow's race, but by the end we got it quite ok with George. Tomorrow should be better, but we are still learning about this car."

Samuel Meade

Alonso pleasantly surprised by Aston pace

"I feel great, I didn't expect to be that competitive. Winter testing was ok, but we were not in the pace of the leaders.

"Three practices were competitive but we also found last year that we are running in a different engine mode from qualifying. To be in the mix and the same tenths as Ferrari is completely unexpected for us."

Samuel Meade

Norris bemoans Q3 error

"I made a mistake in Turn 1 and Turn 4, so my first sector was probably three tenths off what it should have been.

"If all I did was improve one tenth, it was four positions. So, mixed feelings because the car got better and better through qualifying, especially when the wind calmed down, the car came alive and things felt great, it was lovely to drive.

"I just didn't do what I should have done. If you told me could we be P2 before this weekend, I would have been surprised but it was possible, so a good thing for us as a team."

Samuel Meade

Hamilton reacts to P9

"It was not great. But I was genuinely really excited to be here. I think George's position and pace really highlights, and is a real testament to the team, how hard everyone has worked over winter. It's amazing to have a car we can fight with. It really unites the fire and flame within us drivers. For me, Bono and everyone did a great job, and I struggled in qualifying today.

"Yesterday, was really good. Me and George were on the same setups but he went left and I went right. Right was definitely not good for a single lap but I felt more comfortable with more fuel, so I hope that reflects tomorrow. I've definitely sacrificed more than I hoped to and I hope it pays off tomorrow.

"It's a lot of work to do to get past all those quick cars ahead of me but it will be fun."

Samuel Meade

Leclerc frustrated by second place

"I’m a bit disappointed, but yeah, we did a good qualifying. It’s been a tricky weekend until now. We were trying quite a few things in practice and then I found the sweet spot in qualifying.

"In Q2 I think I did a .1 which was more or less the lap time that Max did in Q3, so it was there in the car. I think we lost a little bit the rhythm with the used set of C3 in Q3, then you have to readapt to the new tyres and I lost a little bit there, but all in all it’s been a positive qualy."

Samuel Meade

Max on his pole

"It was a lot of fun. The track had a lot of grip but with the wind the last two days, it was tricky to get the whole lap together. It was the same in qualifying. To really get everything out of it in Q3 was a little more difficult but I'm very happy to be on pole. It was a little bit unexpected but luckily in qualifying the car came to us and I felt a bit happier with the whole car."

Samuel Meade

Max on pole

1) Max Verstappen, Red Bull

2) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari

3) George Russell, Mercedes

4) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari

5) Sergio Perez, Red Bull

6) Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin

7) Lando Norris, McLaren

8) Oscar Piastri, McLaren

9) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

10) Nico Hulkenberg, Haas

Samuel Meade

Max leading the way after the first runs

The world champion is looking likely for pole.

He's edged out Leclerc, Russell, Sainz and Norris thus far.

It looks like it'll be Verstappen or Leclerc for pole...

Samuel Meade

Q3 is underway

Time to find out our pole sitter!

Samuel Meade

Game on - Ferrari vs Red Bull

Leclerc tops Q2 by two tenths from Verstappen, Sainz is in third.

The five drivers to be dumped out are Tsunoda, Stroll, Albon, Ricciardo and Magnussen.

Hamilton ended up in fourth, half a second off Leclerc.

Samuel Meade

Current drivers at risk with 3 mins left

Hulkenberg, Tsunoda, Ricciardo, Albon and Magnussen.

Samuel Meade

The order after the first runs

Verstappen, Perez, Norris, Leclerc, Alonso, Hamilton, Sainz, Piastri, Russell.

The Red Bulls are on new tyres which does explain their pace.

Samuel Meade

Norris setting the pace

Lando has produced a time nearly seven tenths quicker than team-mate Piastri.

He certainly seems to have his number in qualy this weekend.

Stroll is a second slower than Norris' time.

Samuel Meade

Q2 is underway

The two McLarens are first out.

Samuel Meade

Q1 Ends

We've lost Bottas, Zhou, Sargeant, Ocon and Gasly.

One takeaway is that Mercedes certainly don't seem as quick as we'd hoped.

Based on the current pace it looks as if Aston Martin and Ferrari will be those challenging Max Verstappen.

Alpine finished 19th and 20th.

Samuel Meade

So, where are we at..

Five minutes to go in Q1 and we're getting a bit of a lay of the land.

Sainz, Verstappen, Norris, Alonso and Perez are the top five.

Russell is in seventh but Hamilton is down in 12th - some 0.897 slower than Sainz.

Samuel Meade

Gasly time deleted

It is the first, but certainly won't be the last.

Gasly has seen his time deleted after placing all four wheels over the white line, thus exceeding track limits.

Samuel Meade

Ferrari set the first times

Sainz has set a 1.31.208 to set the early pace - Leclerc is two tenths further back.

Gasly is 1.2 seconds slower than the leading Ferrari.

Samuel Meade


Qualy is underway for the first time this season.

Ferrari are the first team to take to the track.

Samuel Meade

Five mins until qualy

So, what to expect...

The timings and all the chatter suggests it is between Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari for pole position.

Keep an eye out for the RB team, formerly AlphaTauri, who could join the top 10 party.

Alpine could also be another story with the works Renault team potentially starting at the back such has been their lack of pace.

Samuel Meade

Hamilton signing "an easy go"

Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur admits the decision Lewis Hamilton for the 2025 F1 season was a simple one and is excited by what he can bring to the team.

"For every team principal it’s an easy go, if you have the opportunity to take Lewis, go for it," he said.

"What he will bring is that he’s the only seven-time world champion on the grid today. He will come with not only the speed into the car and the technical approach, but he will bring also a different vision to the team.

"It’s important for me to have a kind of mix of culture and he will come with this experience and for sure it’s an add-value."

Samuel Meade

It is anyone's guess for qualy

I think we all thought that Verstappen would sail off into the sunset and set an unbeatable time in Bahrain this afternoon - think again.

Practice has shown that this should be one hotly contested session.

Mercedes and Ferrari have both shown they posses pace whilst Aston Martin and McLaren could also enter the mix.

Samuel Meade

Maloney claims F2 sprint

Zane Maloney has won the F2 sprint race in Bahrain ahead of the main race tomorrow.

Now that race has finished the circuit will be preparing for the F1 cars to take centre stage in just under an hour.

Dan Marsh

ICYMI: All the timings you need

We're anticipating a big weekend of action in Bahrain, so make sure you don't miss a second of the action.

Qualifying gets underway shortly at 4pm with the Grand Prix taking place tomorrow afternoon at 3pm.

Daniel Orme

Qualifying schedule

While the practice is finished for now, don't forget we've got qualifying to come.

Qualfying starts at 4pm GMT so make sure to stick around here for all of the build-up and latest news from the paddock.


Practice OVER

And there we have it, the final practice session for the 2024 Bahrain Grand Prix is OVER. We've had some surprises.

Take a look at the top ten below:

1. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) - 1:30.824

2. Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) +0.141

3. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +0.238

4. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) +0.270

5. Lando Norris (McLaren) +0.294

6. George Russell (Mercedes) +0.366

7. Oscar Piastri (McLaren) +0.386

8. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) +0.424

9. Nico Hulkenberg (Haas) +0.454

10. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) +0.572

Daniel Orme

Vettel won't confirm F1 return

Sebastian Vettel has confirmed that he has spoken to Toto Wolff, but refeused to say whether his chats involved a return to F1.

Speaking to Neue Zurcher Zeitung, he said: “I was surprised by this change. Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff didn't call me, but we briefly exchanged text messages.

“But so far it's not an issue for me, also because at 36 I still have all the time in the world. So it doesn't go away. But my signs haven't changed.

“I think that I have learned and understood a lot in this one year without racing, including about myself. Being on the other side had a big impact on me; a lot of questions came up. So far there is no active project.”

Daniel Orme

Practice top five

We've got a surprise order in the middle of practice. Take a look at the top five below:

1. Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) - 1:31.582

2. George Russell (Mercedes) +0.239

3. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) +0.443

4. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) +0.620

5. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) +0.700

F1 live updates - Horner texts leaked, Verstappen takes pole ahead of Leclerc (2024)


Will Max leave Red Bull? ›

SPIELBERG, Austria -- After months of speculation over his future, Max Verstappen has confirmed he will remain at Red Bull in 2025, ruling out a switch to rivals Mercedes.

Is Max Verstappen Austrian? ›

Max Emilian Verstappen was born on 30 September 1997 in Hasselt, Belgium to Jos Verstappen and Sophie Kumpen.

How rich is Max Verstappen? ›

With bonuses and endorsem*nts factored in, Verstappen's net worth soared to approximately $165.5 million. According to Forbes, his annual contract with Red Bull alone amounts to a staggering $43 million. But despite Verstappen's immense wealth, he's not the richest F1 driver in history.

Why is Newey leaving Red Bull? ›

The engineering supremo will step back from Formula One design duties to focus on final development and delivery of Red Bull's first hypercar, the hugely anticipated RB17. He will remain involved in and committed to this exciting project until its completion.

Are Lando Norris and Max Verstappen friends? ›

Norris and Verstappen are close friends off the track, but their relationship has been tested this year with both challenging for the drivers' championship.

Who is Max Verstappen's wife? ›

Kelly Piquet
Occupation(s)Influencer and blogger
Partner(s)Daniil Kvyat (2017–2019) Max Verstappen (2021–present)
ParentNelson Piquet (father)
3 more rows

Does Max Verstappen have Dutch citizenship? ›

Verstappen is the elder of two children born to Jos Verstappen, a Dutch former F1 driver, and Sophie Kumpen, a Belgian former kart racer. His parents and upbringing provide him with claims to Belgian and Dutch citizenship; he maintains a residence in Monaco.

Who is leaving Red Bull? ›

Video Unavailable. Adrian Newey will leave Red Bull in the first quarter of 2025 and will immediately cease technical collaborations with the Red Bull Formula One team.

How long is Max with Red Bull? ›

Max Verstappen's Dad Hints at How Red Bull Can Win New Contract With Champion. The Red Bull driver is under contract until 2028, but several Formula One teams are expected to attempt to court him early.

Who is the engineer leaving Red Bull? ›

Red Bull's pioneering engineer and Chief Technical Officer Adrian Newey is set to leave the outfit in the first quarter of 2025, the team announced in a statement on Wednesday.

How long does Red Bull keep you going? ›

Within a few hours, there won't be enough extra caffeine in your body to provide any measurable increase in energy. So the short answer to our original question is that energy drinks last a few hours, but their most powerful effects only last an hour or two at most.


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