Guide to F1 pre-season testing

F1 pre-season testing begins in Bahrain today

F1 pre-season testing begins in Bahrain today

With Formula 1 pre-season testing set to kick off in Bahrain today, has prepared the ultimate guide with all the details so you can stay abreast of all the action.

How does F1 pre-season testing work?

Teams head into the 2023 season with just three days of running before the opening race.

During those three days, all of which take place at the Bahrain International Circuit, they are allowed to field a single car.

That effectively equates to just 1.5 days each in the car before next weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix.

Testing in Bahrain begins on Thursday, and runs until Saturday.

On all three days, track action begins at local time and ends at 19:30, with a one hour lunch break at 14:15.

What teams do in the time available is largely up to them, with engineers likely to have long lists to items to be tested.

That will include some basic systems checks before delving into other key areas such as tyre degradation, fuel consumption, and aerodynamic and suspension adjustments.

The focus is to understand the package they have, quickly identify any issues so they can be rectified, before then learning how to maximise the package available.

Pirelli has brought all six of its dry weather compounds to Bahrain for teams to sample, along with its intermediate and wet rubber.

They’ll have 35 sets of tyres available per car, of which they are allowed to use 30.

Two of those the C3 ‘proto’ compound – a variant produced out of Pirelli’s facility in Turkey to benchmark against the usual C3 rubber.

Who is running this week?

At the time of writing, not all teams had confirmed which driver(s) they will field or when.

Typically, the day will be split in two with one driver in action in the morning before handing the car over to their teammate in the afternoon.

Over three days, that works out to be roughly 12 hours behind the wheel each, assuming there are no issues.

However, we know Lance Stroll will be absent from testing as he recovers from injury.

Aston Martin has named reserve driver Felipe Drugovich as his replacement, with the Brazilian set to steer the car on Thursday morning before handing over to Fernando Alonso.

Team Thursday AM Thursday PM Friday AM Friday PM Saturday AM Saturday PM
Red Bull Max Verstappen Max Verstappen Sergio Perez Max Verstappen Sergio Perez Sergio Perez
Ferrari Carlos Sainz Charles Leclerc Carlos Sainz Charles Leclerc Charles Leclerc Carlos Sainz
Mercedes George Russell Lewis Hamilton Lewis Hamilton George Russell George Russell Lewis Hamilton
Alpine Pierre Gasly Esteban Ocon Esteban Ocon Pierre Gasly Pierre Gasly Esteban Ocon
McLaren Oscar Piastri Lando Norris Lando Norris Oscar Piastri Oscar Piastri Lando Norris
Alfa Romeo Sauber Zhou Guanyu Valtteri Bottas Zhou Guanyu Zhou Guanyu Valtteri Bottas Valtteri Bottas
Aston Martin Felipe Drugovich Fernando Alonso Fernando Alonso Fernando Alonso
Haas Nico Hulkenberg Kevin Magnussen Kevin Magnussen Nico Hulkenberg Nico Hulkenberg Kevin Magnussen
Scuderia AlphaTauri Yuki Tsunoda Nyck de Vries Yuki Tsunoda Nyck de Vries Nyck de Vries Yuki Tsunoda
Williams Alex Albon Logan Sargeant Logan Sargeant Logan Sargeant Alex Albon Alex Albon

How can I watch F1 pre-season testing?

Fans in Australia can watch F1 pre-season testing from Bahrain on both Foxtel and Kayo with commentary from Sky Sports.

It was a last-minute deal, coming together only yesterday after protracted discussions between Foxtel and Formula 1 reached a stalemate.

Reports by reignited those conversations and a deal was subsequently struck such that Australian fans can enjoy all the pre-season action.

Day Start Platform
Thursday (23/2) 17:50 AEDT Foxtel, Kayo
Friday (24/2) 17:50 AEDT Foxtel, Kayo
Saturday (25/2) 17:50 AEDT Foxtel, Kayo

Formula 1’s own subscription service, F1TV, remains available as an OTT service, providing additional timing data and other information.

Meanwhile, has its own F1 team on the ground in Bahrain to bring you all the latest news as it happens.

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