Teams' reaction after the three-day pre-season testing

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With the sole three-day pre-season testing done and dusted, teams and drivers are now fully concentrated on analysing the data they have gathered over the course of the short running in Bahrain. F1Technical's senior writer Balázs Szabó delivers the reaction from the ten teams.


Ferrari have heavily revised their 2024 F1 car, albeit their SF-24 does not feature any evident technical innovation aside from the bridge that connects the halo with the chassis of the car. However, the Scuderia appear to have made a solid job over the winter, and they might carry over their late 2023 form which would cement their status as a contender for pole positions on certain tracks. The new car is clearly a step forward in terms of wind sensitivity which has provided the drivers with a much more stable and reliable platform to work with.

Moreover and more importantly, Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc performed a race simulation on Thursday and Friday respectively which clearly indicated that the new SF-24 looks after the tyres much more than its predecessor which could mean that the Scuderia's single-lap and long run performance could converge in 2024.

"Charles Leclerc: We’ve wrapped up our third day of testing, having put in a solid number of laps and completed a lot of different tests, which is positive.

"The car is reacting the way that we wanted it to, but it is still difficult to assess its level of competitiveness right now. The feeling is better than the base we started from last year. Now, it’s full focus on the race and I can’t wait to be back on track next week."

Carlos Sainz: "One last push here in Sakhir, maximising these final laps before we move on with the proper Bahrain GP next week. Overall, it has been a good day, despite the red flag that disrupted the running a bit but I enjoyed every single lap in the car today. We tested a lot of different configurations to collect as much data as possible.

"The car seems to be in a decent place and I’m proud of the work that the team has done to complete such a solid test programme."


Having completed a quite pre-season preparation, Mercedes engineers and drivers appear to be fairly delighted with the team's heavily-upgraded 2024 F1 car, the W15. The car looked nervous in the hands of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, particularly on a single hot lap.

It is therefore no wonder that the Brackley-based team is expected to struggle for one-lap pace compared to the field-leading Red Bull and even to Ferrari, but long run pace analysis indicates that the W15 could emerge as second fastest in race trim right behind the reigning champion and just ahead of the Scuderia.

George Russell: "We’ve had a solid three days here in Bahrain. We managed to get through all of our planned programme, despite the stoppages. The car has been handling well and correlates to the feeling we had on the simulator ahead of coming here. We’ve got a very good base to build from.

"We’re aware that there’s a lot more lap time to find. We knew that would be the case ahead of the test, and Red Bull are looking very strong once again. Nevertheless, I’m confident that we’re in a much better place than we were 12 months ago. The team at Brackley and Brixworth have done a great job to get us into this position and with a car that is a step in the right direction. We now need to focus on firstly getting the most out of the package we have and secondly, adding more downforce and trying to close that gap."

Lewis Hamilton: "Overall, it’s been a really good test. I’m really proud of everyone trackside and those back at the factory. Every single woman and man has been working tirelessly, both at Brackley, Brixworth, and here in Bahrain. It’s massively encouraging and great to see everyone working so well together. The focus, determination, and communication is the best I’ve ever seen.

"We know we’ve got work to do and we’re not yet where we want to be. We knew that would be the case coming into the test though. We’ve got a great platform to build on. We’ll go away and work hard over the next couple of days to go through all the data from the test. I’m really excited for the start of the season next week and we’ll be heading into it in good shape."

Red Bull

Red Bull might have endured a difficult period internally in recent weeks, their innovative 2024 F1 car seems to be a class of its own once again. Max Verstappen could hardly hide his big smile on his face after three three days of pre-season testing that saw him record an eye-catching lap time on a used set of Pirelli’s before performing an ominous long run simulation.

Following a very difficult season, Sergio Perez sounded positive when he assessed his and the car’s performance in Bahrain, but he appeared to have lacked pace on heavy fuel load compared to his team-mate.

Max Verstappen: “Overall it was very good today. We focused on the long running to get more of an understanding of the car and it was good to see the performance of the car was very strong. We made the plan to not focus on pure lap time and tried different compounds, so I am happy with the laps that we did today.

"As we head into the race weekend it is all about fine tuning the car and also seeing what the race throws at you when you push the car to the limit. We now need to look into the data a bit more and try to come up with a plan for the week ahead. We’ve had a really positive test and we have learned a lot from everything we changed, so we are looking forward to next week."

Sergio Perez: “It has been a good start to the year for the Team, we have got plenty of mileage over the last few days. The run programme that we put together was very good and meant we really made the most out of the days. Now it is time to look forward to the race next weekend, I have a good feeling in the car, so let’s see once we get to race it, but the feeling is very positive."

Visa Cash App RB

Red Bull’s sister team has gained a new identity for 2024 as they will compete as Visa Cash App RB as of this year. With the energy drink company’s two teams have intensified their cooperation recently, it is no wonder that RB have been one of the surprise teams in Bahrain with both drivers having reported significant gains with the new car.

Yuki Tunoda: "Testing went fairly smooth. We didn’t exactly follow our run programme as there were some issues with the track, but we responded well to them. I felt the car has made a good step forward compared to last year, so I’m happy with it so far. The balance has improved, and especially the front felt strong.

"We still have to find more with the rear, but it’s moving in the right direction. I completed many laps over the last couple of days and it was a good experience that allowed us to collect good data and help find the limit of the car. Looking at the timesheet, we’re not last, but it’s difficult to know where we are compared to the rest of the field, so I’m excited to start racing again next week."

Daniel Ricciardo: “I think testing has been good and we’ve definitely developed the car from last year. I completed plenty of laps and feel pretty fit. Unfortunately, there were some issues on track with the drain, and we were worried we wouldn’t get our race run in, but luckily, we did. I did some short runs on Day 1 and 2 and race simulation this morning. In terms of performance, I think we’re where we expected to be.

"We’re aiming to fight in the midfield group and we’ll try to make the most of what we got. Overall, it was a smooth test, so I don’t think we leave here with any concerns. We made some gains and know where we are, but if we want to make sure to fight for Q3 and points consistently, there’s certainly a bit more we need to find.”

Stake F1
Valtteri Bottas: “Today was a bit more challenging as the red flag cost us quite some running time. Ending the session with some precautionary checks resulted in a few missed test items and laps, but we still managed to get through our planned priorities. We were able to learn more about the C44 and we feel reasonably prepared for next week’s race.

"It’s still quite difficult to evaluate the true performance and the competitive field, but we are confident in the data we collected. Now, it’s all about analysing, learning and improving ahead of the race weekend.”

Zhou Guanyu: “We had another good day where we focused a lot on our long runs and managed to complete a second full race distance. We got through our programme and experimented with various setups and configurations to draw our conclusions.

"It’s challenging to evaluate the full potential, especially with a completely new car, and we’ll continue working and making strides over the next few days to be ready for the upcoming weekend. However, the true performance and how we rank compared to the other teams is yet to be seen until the first qualifying and race. We feel good and will use the remaining days to learn and find margins for improvement.”

Aston Martin

Lance Stroll: "It's been great to be out in Bahrain for testing – I'm especially pleased to be here after missing last year's pre-season test. Time in the car is so valuable for all of us: we've been gathering data and learning about the AMR24 with every lap we've completed.

"We've made good use of these days to run a lot of parts and setups – the car has felt better every day - and we've not had any reliability issues. It's still too early to make any big predictions, but I'm looking forward to first race of the year next week."

Fernando Alonso: "We have tried to learn as much as possible during this test and focused on ourselves. It would be nice to have the predictions and knowledge of where everyone is but that is not the case in testing.

"The AMR24 is a step forward from last year and we just have to see how big of a step forward against everybody else. We will know more next week after Qualifying. It was good to get a number of laps on the board over the three days and I feel fit and ready to go for the start of the new season."


Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: "We had a good day to complete the pre-season test. We did another 120 laps and this time without any car issues. Alex was able to build on the work done by Logan yesterday and continued to evolve the FW46. Across a range of fuel loads, the car was behaving well, and Alex was able to complete a decent race simulation using two of the tyre compounds that will be available next week.

"Inevitably at this time of year, there is a lot of scope to push the FW46 harder and to develop it quickly. We have a few days to analyse the data from this week and decide how we build the cars for FP1 and how we look to introduce the first round of car updates. There is a lot to do but we have made a solid start and have a good foundation to build on."

Alex Albon: "Firstly, we’ve got a decent car to go racing with. I do think we struggled a little bit with the car across day one and two with just how different it is, struggling to rebalance it, but we made some big headway in making the car more driveable. With the changing car characteristics, we shifted some of our historical problems to different areas. Still, we’ve been able to fix some of these but unfortunately in the process, we’ve picked up a few things we didn’t like.

"Despite this, we did a bit of a radical set-up today and this worked out for the better. Looking at the rest of the grid, the midfield has closed up a lot with everyone making a big jump from last year, so it’s all quite equal throughout the field. This year is going to be all about the fine details and potential tracks that better suit others, so there are going to be lots of interesting battles.


Lando Norris: “Final day of testing done. I’m happy with what we’ve achieved over the last three days and feeling ready for the start of the season. We encountered one or two setbacks here and there, but that is to be expected during pre-season testing. The important thing is we have a good understanding of the car now, we have plenty of data to go over and will come back stronger for the race next weekend. Overall, positive signs and we have a better understanding of the work we have to do. Bring on race week!”

Oscar Piastri: “That’s the end of testing. We had a smooth, fun session today and got plenty of laps on the board, which was good. We’re in decent shape and more or less where we expected to be, but we still have some work to do. It was useful to get some race sim work done today, we rarely get to practice doing races in testing, so it was nice to have that opportunity. We’ll see what everybody’s got next week and that will give much more of an indication as to where we are. I’m excited and ready for the first race.”


Kevin Magnussen: “You never get all the answers you need and you always want more time, as three days of testing – and splitting those days with two drivers – is limiting. Given the limited time, I think we’ve done a lot, got some good impressions of the car and the focus is trying to be good on Sunday.

"We’ve been doing a lot of high-fuel race running, trying to address that issue, and I think we’re going somewhere. We haven’t fixed the issue completely but hopefully it’s enough to make a difference on Sunday. I expect it to be very close between all teams again this year.”

Nico Hulkenberg: “Today we got through the program and did what we wanted to do, so that was good. We completed a race run as well - I haven’t seen it compared to anyone else’s – but now we’ve got lots of impressions after three days of testing, lots of data and things to analyze.

"We’ve been able to do some experiments like most, as that’s what you do in testing, and it’s been good, positive. I have no idea where we stand, or what it’s worth, but we’ll get that answer in a week. It’s early days, but from in the car, from where I sit, if I compare the car to last year, it does feel better and like we’ve made a step in the right direction.”


Esteban Ocon: “Overall, it was a productive three-day test for us, probably one of the strongest during my time at the team. Since I jumped in the car, from Day 1 everything has been faultless and strong from an operational standpoint. The car has been working reliably and we managed to complete our testing programme.

"We improved the car and made progress from the first day to the last day. But we have a lot of work to do and it’s going to be interesting now to go through all the data and understand where we can make improvements. Three days of testing is short for a new car, so there’s still a lot to learn and extract from our package. Thanks to everyone at the team here, at Enstone and Viry for the long hours over the winter. Now it’s time to go racing.”

Pierre Gasly: “We did a lot of testing this week and now we have an important week coming up where we will go through all the data and continue our understanding of this new car concept. It’s vital to learn all about the entire package and understanding how we can optimise it. On my side, it’s been quite tricky at times especially as we missed out on some running both yesterday and today.

"The red flag was unfortunate on Day 2, then this afternoon we had the wheel brow coming loose from the car and that meant we missed a couple of laps at the end. Still, it’s been a productive test for the team across the last three days and that is most important. I’m definitely excited for the first race.”