Max Verstappen has expressed his excitement for the coming season and his F1 championship defence after three months without racing.
Since the chequered flag fell on the 2021 season in Abu Dhabi on December 12, Verstappen has been eagerly awaiting the start of the new season where he will race with the number one on his Red Bull.
Asked on the Talking Bull podcast how excited he is for the Bahrain season-opener, Verstappen said: "Very excited. I've been waiting for this day at least for three months.
"I'm always initially not excited, but then the closer we get to a race weekend, the more you get really into it and I'm more excited."
F1 is racing to an all-new set of technical regulations this year with a large focus placed on allowing cars to follow more closely in order to promote better racing.
After setting the fastest time in pre-season testing, Verstappen added: "The car looks good.
"I think it's a whole new era for the sport as well and, of course, they were focused on mainly trying to bring everyone closer together and making the racing better.
"The last few years, most of the time once you were within one, one-and-a-half seconds it was just really difficult to follow.
"So I hope the racing will improve in general but I'm at the moment just excited. It's all so new that it's all a bit unknown as well."