F1 preseason testing starts in Bahrain
The three-day F1 pre-season test takes place at the Bahrain International Circuit and for the first time in 2023, all ten teams will take to the track together.
This year testing is limited to three days before the first race at the same track on March 5th.
All ten teams have taken part in launch events over the past few weeks, although Thursday morning was the first time the Red Bull RB19 could be seen since the world champions decided to simply show off its livery at the New York launch earlier this month.
Your definitive guide to pre-season testing
Most teams divide their time on the track between riders, with the exception of Red Bull, which will have world champion Max Verstappen in the car all day. Teammate Sergio Perez will drive all day on Saturday and Red Bull will split the responsibilities on Friday.
Verstappen’s first laps on the RB19 gave the public their first glimpse of the new Red Bull car. At the “seasonal start” of the world champions in New York, last year’s car was unveiled in a 2023 livery.
Most teams guarantee that both drivers will spend the same amount of time behind the wheel for three days, if possible.
Lance Stroll is the only rider not to test this year after suffering injuries in a bike accident last week. Aston Martin reserve driver Felipe Drugovic will take his place on Thursday morning.
Drugovic ran the first red flag of the season just nine minutes into the session when his Aston Martin pulled up on the track.
Lineup of pilots (Thursday):
Red Bull: Max Verstappen (all day)
Ferrari: Carlos Sainz (morning)/Charles Leclerc (afternoon)
Mercedes: George Russell (am)/Lewis Hamilton (afternoon)
Alpine: Pierre Gasly (morning)/Esteban Ocon (afternoon)
McLaren: Oscar Piastri (AM)/LandoNorris (PM)
Alfa Romeo: Zhou Guangyu (AM)/Valtteri Bottas (PM)
Aston Martin: Felipe Drugovic (AM)/Fernando Alonso (PM)
Haas: Nico Hulkenberg (AM)/Kevin Magnussen (PM)
AlphaTauri: Nick De Vries (AM)/Yuki Tsunoda (PM)
Williams: Alex Albon (AM) / Logan Sargent (PM)