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Filip Cleeren

Five stories you may have missed from the F1 Bahrain GP

Red Bull holds exploratory talks with McLaren over engine supply

On Friday, Red Bull chief Christian Horner confirmed reports that McLaren CEO Zak Brown had visited Red Bull Powertrains to explore a potential engine supply deal from 2026.

Horner said it was "natural we would speak with potential customers" as McLaren ponders whether to stay with current supplier Mercedes or find an alternative elsewhere.

Brown's visit follows speculation that the Woking squad was also weighing up a deal with former partner Honda, despite a messy divorce between the two parties in 2017. In Bahrain, McLaren team boss Andrea Stella also weighed in on Brown's visit.

Toto Wolff, Team Principal and CEO, Mercedes-AMG with Jayne Poole, Mercedes special advisor (Photo by: Uncredited)

Mercedes signs former senior Red Bull F1 figure as new special advisor

That same day also learned that Mercedes moved to hire one of Red Bull’s former senior figures.

Jayne Poole worked closely with Christian Horner as Red Bull's COO and HR director and - intriguingly - she will now act as a special advisor to Toto Wolff.

Her knowledge of Red Bull’s workings could also help the Brackley team's recovery process. Meanwhile, former F1 driver and Venturi Formula E team principal Jerome D'Ambrosio has also been tipped for a Mercedes role after being present in the team's garage during both the pre-season test and the race weekend.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL36, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB18, the rest of the field at the start (Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images)

Imola earmarked for first F1 qualifying experiment

F1 is preparing trials of a new Formula 1 qualifying format and on Saturday we learned that May's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola will be the first of two race weekends the experiment will be rolled out at.

Reducing the total number of tyre sets per car from 13 to 11, drivers will be forced to use hard tyres in Q1, mediums in Q2 and then softs in Q3. Early analysis from engineers suggests the change will force teams to also completely rethink their tyre usage in free practice.

Nyck de Vries, AlphaTauri AT04, Nico Hulkenberg, Haas VF-23 (Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images)

Horner rebuffs "amusing" rumours over AlphaTauri sale

In more Red Bull news, Horner brushed aside rumours in the German press that the energy drinks giant is considering a sale of its second team AlphaTauri.

Red Bull is charting a new course ever since the late Dietrich Mateschitz was replaced by Oliver Mintzlaff. But suggestions that its new chief has a different view on bankrolling the Italian squad were quickly quashed by both Horner and AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost.

In the Friday press conference, Horner explained why the move to sell AlphaTauri would be counter-intuitive.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23, in the pit lane (Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images)

FIA tweaks F1 pitlane exit rules following Verstappen controversy

The FIA has cleared up the rules regarding to what extent Formula 1 drivers are allowed to touch the pitlane exit lines, after its imprecise wording caused controversy in last year's Monaco Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen catching the pit exit line on his outlap triggered a protest from Ferrari but while the Dutchman clearly touched the line, the stewards didn't interpret the incident as actually 'crossing' it.

The non-call prompted driver unease and the FIA has now cleaned up the wording of the sporting rules to avoid further controversy. In his pre-race notes for Bahrain, F1 race director Niels Wittich illustrated the new limits in a drawing.

Wheel pitlane exit lines limit (Photo by: FIA)
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