The 2023 Formula 1 season is fast approaching, and that can mean only one thing – three critical days of pre-season testing.
Over the past few weeks, each team has been unveiling its new look to fans ahead of the season start.
Now, all 10 teams will take their new challengers to the track to get an idea as to whether their months of preparation and dedication have paid off… or not.
READ MORE: Here’s a look at the full 2023 grid of new machinery with the season start just weeks away
Testing will kick off in Bahrain on Thursday, February 23 for three days, finishing on Saturday, February 25.
Each day there will be two sessions, the first of which starts at 7:00 am Irish time and will run for four hours.
When time runs out in this session, drivers will return to the pits for an hour break before they are allowed return to the track at 12:00 pm Irish time for the second session. This will run for four and a half hours, allowing teams to get a taste of their performance in night-time conditions – in which the opening race of the season will be held.
The Sakhir Circuit has some wonderful long straights and challenging tight corners, which will give all teams an opportunity to test different aspects of their cars and push them to the limit.
Bahrain will likely throw out some high daytime heat, along with some strong gusts which will see the desert sand landing on the track, providing additional challenges for both the drivers and their engineers.
If you’re new to Formula 1, you may not be aware of why pre-season testing is vital in the approach to the new season.
Each team has been working for months to develop a new car to take them further than the season prior, however, they are only given very strict amounts of time to get out on track before the season begins.
The amount of testing time allowed has slowly been cut down over the years – to just three days – along with two 15km demonstrations and two 100km promotional events.
Last year, an additional three days were added to the test in Barcelona due to the hefty changes coming into play in the 2022 season, but this year will see the return of one three-day event.
The sessions are there to allow teams to work on any major issues that arise before the season kicks off. Most importantly these three days give the teams a chance to ensure cars are reliable when they are pushed to the limit.
As the teams gather more and more information on their new machinery in Bahrain, they will then begin to choose their set-ups and focus on any necessary upgrades ahead of the opening race – just eight days later on March 5.