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WEEKEND WARM-UP: All the driver reaction as we prepare for the start of the 2021 season in Bahrain

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It’s been a long winter, but Formula 1 is finally back with a fascinating – and bumper 23-race – 2021 season in prospect, starting with the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The mood in the balmy Bahrain paddock on Thursday was one of both excitement and impatience, as the drivers prepare for their first battles of the season under the floodlights at the Bahrain International Circuit, where they were on track less than two weeks ago for pre-season testing.

READ MORE: Verstappen not getting distracted by Red Bull's ‘favourites’ tag ahead of 2021 kick-off

But with three rookies nervously awaiting their F1 debuts, a number of high-profile driver moves, and of course the prospect of what looks set to be a fierce battle this season between Red Bull and Mercedes, there was plenty to cover off on day one of the 2021 season.

So, ahead of the first race weekend action of the year, hear from all the drivers as Will Buxton, Lawrence Barretto and David Alorka round up the reaction from Thursday in Bahrain.

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