Max Verstappen bought the Formula One season underway Friday with the quickest time within the first practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix.
The Red Bull driver was .298 seconds forward of Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas and .503 away from McLaren’s Lando Norris.
World champion Lewis Hamilton led early on for Mercedes however dropped again to complete with the fourth-quickest time. The British driver was .527 seconds behind Verstappen.
There is a second practice on Friday afternoon.
Hamilton is trying to win a file eighth F1 title to maneuver one forward of Michael Schumacher, whose 22-year-old son Mick Schumacher is making his F1 debut with Haas.
He completed the primary session in nineteenth place.