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Temperatures Rise as F1 is Back for Pre-Season Testing in Bahrain

The sun is out, and the cars are finally on track, or at least close to being. The F1 testing in Bahrain is the final step before the season finally takes off. It is the ultimate test to see just how ready the cars are. 


The testing took place over the course of three days, with each day consisting of a nine-hour session where drivers and test drivers take turns testing out the car. The three days of testing are not only helpful for the drivers but also for the engineers to take data. In order to collect certain types of data, different sensors are placed around the car’s exterior. The sensors include metal fences around the car known as rakes. The rakes help collect the measurement of air flow and how it structures around the car. 

Not only are sensors placed around the car during testing, but they are also doused in a bright orange, bright green or bright blue paint. The paint is a combination of fluorescent powder and paraffin oil that is applied to the car before it dries. The paint is used to test the aerodynamics of the car during the sessions. The wet paint will create a visual map for the team on how the air flows during both the corners and the straight parts of the tracks.

Courtesy of Mark Sutton/Motorsport Images

On the first day of testing, it was no surprise that current World Champion Max Verstappen came out on top. Verstappen put in a total of 143 laps, each lap averaging about one minute, 31 seconds and 344 milliseconds. Next on the timesheet was one of last year’s underdogs, Lando Norris who put in a total of 73 laps for his afternoon session after taking over his teammate Oscar Piastri. Norris averaged a total of one minute, 32 seconds and 484 milliseconds. To finish off the top three was none other than Ferrari’s own Carlos Sainz, who like Norris took over for his teammate Charles Leclerc for the afternoon session. Sainz drove 69 laps with each averaging one minute, 32 seconds and 584 milliseconds. While Verstappen and Oracle Red Bull Racing seemed to have set the pace for the testing, this was only day one.

Courtesy of Steven Tee/Motorsport Images

The second day of testing opened up with some surprises. During the morning session of the day, Leclerc seemed to have the pace and clocked in 54 laps, but his session had to come to an end when he ran over a drain cover and left debris in the track. The accident caused a track inspection. After a 40-minute delay, it was decided that the morning session would come to an end. The afternoon session was led by Sainz adding 84 laps to his session. Although Sergio Perez in his Red Bull and Lewis Hamilton in his Mercedes were able to push for more laps than Sainz during the session, their times were not fast enough to take over Sainz. It is important to know that although Hamilton and Perez had more laps in during their session, their times were not fast enough to compete with Sainz.

With luck on the side of the Ferrari men, Leclerc was able to finish the last day of testing in the top spot. Although Verstappen did not finish the last day in the top spot, he managed to finish in fourth on the timesheet. The morning session came to a halt again when the red flags were drawn because Perez ran across a drain. However, the session resumed after an hour and the morning and afternoon session were combined, many drivers were able to put in laps.

The last day provided a variety of circumstances. The afternoon session started to experience a drop in temperature, which created a more realistic environment for the first race of the season. Although testing is only a glimpse of what the season would like, there is no doubt that there are still some surprises in store for the next few months. 

Edited by: Kendall Merriett

Social Content Created by: Callista Carreiro

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