Bahrain F1 test 2022

Formula 1 teams had their work cut out today as the final 2022 preseason Bahrain F1 Test commenced today, this is a summary of what teams had to say.

One thing that was apparent on the opening day of testing at Sakhir is that teams would probably like an extra day or two because some were and are, albeit less so, on the back foot with just over a week before the first race.

Haas were late out of the blocks due to cargo mishaps; Daniel Ricciardo’s unexpected illness forced McLaren to change their plans which incu=luded him driving this morning, Norris was tasked instead but delays meant half the running their rivals managed.

Alpine, who had blow-up on the last day Barcelona with Fernando Alonso at the wheel could have done with more mileage on the only Renault powered car on the grid.

Here is what the team bosses and/ or tech gurus had to say at the end of day one Bahrain F1 Test:

Alpine: It wasn’t our smoothest day

Pat Fry, Chief Technical Officer: “Firstly, it’s great to be back in Bahrain for the next phase of pre-season testing. It wasn’t our smoothest day of running with the usual niggles of testing popping up, which sometimes occur when you’re running through an extensive programme. It looks like ‘porpoising’ is less of an issue here than in Barcelona, which is certainly interesting.

“We identified an issue with the car after lunch and that limited Fernando’s afternoon. We were able to resolve the problem but, of course, adding as much mileage as possible only aids what you learn about the car and we fell a bit short on that front today.

Alpine Report: “BWT Alpine F1 Team returned to the racetrack today as Formula 1 pre-season testing resumed at the Bahrain International Circuit with Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso in action in the A522.

“Esteban took driving duties in the morning session under the searing Bahrain heat, completing 42 laps, with Fernando in the car during the afternoon-twilight session in much cooler conditions.

“Fernando posted 24 laps with a small issue limiting his running for a large part of the session. The problem was identified and solved to allow Fernando some track time under the lights during the final hour of the day.

“Friday, Esteban returns to the A522 for a full day’s running with Fernando back in the car on Saturday.”

Mercedes: Plenty to keep us busy for the next two days

Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director: “Compared to Barcelona it’s been harder to get the car well-balanced around the lap here. We do seem to have made a bit of progress through the day but it’s always difficult to judge accurately here as the falling temperature tends to flatter everything you do later in the day.

“We’ve got quite a lot of work still to do regarding validation of the update kit and will continue the data collection programme over the next few days so it’s a bit early to say whether everything is working as expected.

“There is certainly more to find in getting the balance right between slow and high-speed corners, and there’s also a bit too much tyre overheating.

“So, plenty to keep us busy for the next two days but we are on a steep learning curve with the new car and tyres – we’ll analyse what we have from today and hopefully make a step forward for tomorrow.”

Mercedes Report: “Lewis was behind the wheel of the W13 for this morning’s Bahrain F1 Test session as the team took its first steps with a significant upgrade introduced since testing in Barcelona two week ago. Lewis banked valuable learning on the C2 and C3 compounds, running early on with a rake to gather aero data on the new package.

“George followed in the afternoon session under the floodlights in Sakhir, working through a detailed test programme to better understand the balance and drivability of the new-look W13. Both drivers broke through the 60-lap mark to harvest precious data as the learning race continues.”

Red Bull: We were not focused on pace

Guillaume Rocquelin, Head of Race Engineering: “We had a good day today, in one day we did the amount of mileage we would usually carry out across an entire race weekend. That means being able to gauge the reliability of parts across the race weekend in one day and we are in a good place.

“A few things fell away here and there, but there was no massive time lost in the garage due to big issues. We were not focused on pace today and we ran a programme we felt would be useful to learn from, so we’re really pleased that we managed to get through so much work.

“As we have ticked the box of race distance today, it may not be as critical tomorrow, so we will still do fairly long runs but maybe not with pit stops. Every day we are learning more and getting better.”

Red Bull Report: “The final week of testing ahead of the start of the 2022 FIA Formula One World Championship got underway today at the Bahrain International Circuit and on board the new RB18 for the first day of running in Sakhir was Sergio Perez.

“Largely focusing on the harder end of the Pirelli tyre spectrum, Checo got through a marathon 138 laps of the 5.4km circuit as the Team worked through a busy run plan. There was one small blot on the Team’s Thursday report card, however, as Checo’s running ended a few minutes before the flag when he had a slow-speed spin in Turn 8. The incident was minor, however, and caused no damage.

“And despite his late off-track moment, the Mexican driver was pleased with his first day of the Bahrain F1 Test. “It was a very productive day, we did plenty of laps and gathered a lot of information. It was good to get a read on the car on a different track with higher temperatures.

“It’s obviously very different here compared to Barcelona. Bahrain is one of the roughest circuits on the calendar so you are naturally more rear-biased. In general, we had a good pace and we have plenty of information to go through, there is so much to learn at the moment.

“Towards the end of the day, after the safety car I had cold tyres and just lost it and unfortunately went into the gravel. It ended the session early so hopefully everyone can have a nice rest now!”

Haas: We need to make it up in the next days of the Bahrain F1 Test

Guenther Steiner, Team Principal: “We finally got going today after all the delays with the freight. The team did a fantastic job to get the car ready to go out after having 36 hours less than all other teams.

“We got out just for the afternoon session, but we need to make it up in the next days. All in all, it was quite a good day of running – we’re getting a better understanding of how the car works and we just need to continue like this. We did 47 laps which, if we can do continually over the next days, I’m almost happy.”

Haas Report: “Pietro Fittipaldi was first up to get behind the wheel of the VF-22 on the opening day of Formula 1 pre-season testing at the Bahrain International Circuit. The team was unable to run in the morning session due to freight delays earlier in the week, but the Brazilian driver was first out on track in the afternoon, getting to work on the Pirelli C2 tire.

“After 17 laps, Fittipaldi swapped compounds to test out the C2 prototype tires to benchmark against the standard specification tire. His first run on the test set featured a 12-lap stint, before returning to the C2 tire to add another 12 laps to his tally.

“The final run of the day featured the C2 proto tire once more but was unfortunately cut short by a red flag after Sergio Perez beached his car in the gravel, signaling an early end to the first day of pre-season testing. Fittipaldi ran a total of 47 laps, setting his fastest time of 1:37.422 on the Pirelli C2 proto tire.

“Mick Schumacher will commence running on Friday before Kevin Magnussen gets his very first taste of the VF-22 in the afternoon session.”

Ferrari: Various solutions were tried to resolve the phenomenon of “porpoising”

Ferrari Report: “The second and final pre-season test of the 2022 Formula 1 season got underway today, running for three days up to Saturday at Bahrain’s Sakhir circuit. First out on track in the F1-75 was Charles Leclerc, who completed 64 laps (346 km) running the Pirelli C2, C3 and C4 compound tyres. He completed the programme established for him. Charles set his best time of 1’34”531 on the C3 tyres.

“During the lunch break, the mechanics carried out the usual checks and changed the set-up on the F1-75 to suit Carlos Sainz. The Spaniard went out on track around 15.30 and did 52 laps (281 km). He too used the C2, C3 and C4 compounds, setting a best time of 1’34”359 on a set of C3s. Overall therefore, the F1-75 completed 116 laps, equal to over 627 kilometres.

“As was the case at the Barcelona test two weeks ago, the team had several items on the job sheet for both drivers, including car set-up, which is particularly relevant, given that the opening round of the season takes place at this track next week.

“Reliability testing was also on the agenda, particularly taking into account the high temperatures here (air 37 degrees, track 47). Additionally, various solutions were tried to resolve the phenomenon of “porpoising” that is affecting all these new-generation cars.

“Second day. Friday follows the same pattern as today, with Charles first to drive, followed by Carlos in the afternoon.”

Aston Martin: The fourth-best time of the day!

Aston Martin Report: “Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll hit the track for day one of three of pre-season testing at the Sakhir International Circuit. Sebastian was first out on track this morning, completing 39 laps during the session.

“Lance then took the AMR22 out in the afternoon, ending his 50 lap stint with a best lap time of 1.43.736; the fourth-best time of the day! With their laps combined, the two drivers completed a total distance of 481.668km on day one.”

Report in progress…