F1 testing 2023: Driver line-ups

    F1 testing in Bahrain is the only chance teams have to see their cars on track before the start of the 2023 season


    Formula 1 pre-season testing 2023 begins in Bahrain on Thursday, where teams will have a total of 25.5 hours to prepare their cars for the start of the 2023 F1 season, with teams announcing their driver line-ups for testing.

    There’s three days of testing with two four-hour sessions each day, only one driver per team can be on track in each session, and the evening sessions also have over an hour after the sun sets simulating the conditions of the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix a week after testing finishes.

    In previous years some teams have given time to reserve drivers – such as Pietro Fittipaldi for Haas in 2022 or Roy Nissany for Williams in 2021 – but this season the only stand-in is Aston Martin‘s Felipe Drugovich for the injured Lance Stroll.

    McLaren’s Lando Norris during 2022 testing | REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

    Testing Day 1 – Thursday

    Reigning world champion Max Verstappen kicks things off for Red Bull, he’s been the fastest driver in testing since 2021.

    2022 Formula 2 champion Drugovich gets four hours in an F1 car, after also driving for Aston Martin in FP1 of the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and the post-season test.

    He’s standing in for Stroll, who’s out due to injuries suffered in a ‘minor cycling accident’.

    Nico Hulkenberg‘s also competing in the morning session, the first time he’s featured pre-season since 2019.

    In the afternoon, Nyck de Vries and Logan Sargeant make their first appearances as full-time drivers.

    Both have had extensive F1 experience but they’re in a new position now as insiders and will be keen to make a good first impression to their teams.

    TeamDriver (AM)Driver (PM)
    Red BullMax VerstappenMax Verstappen
    FerrariCarlos SainzCharles Leclerc
    MercedesGeorge RussellLewis Hamilton
    AlpinePierre GaslyEsteban Ocon
    McLarenOscar PiastriLando Norris
    Alfa RomeoZhou GuanyuValtteri Bottas
    Aston MartinFelipe DrugovichFernando Alonso
    HaasNico HulkenbergKevin Magnussen
    AlphaTauriYuki TsunodaNyck de Vries
    WilliamsAlex AlbonLogan Sargeant

    Testing Day 2 – Friday

    Verstappen‘s testing commitments finish at lunchtime, as Perez will take the car for the afternoon and the whole of the final day.

    At Williams, Sargeant gets a full day in the car, and AlphaTauri continue with their setup from the first day. Kevin Magnussen is driving on all three days and he’ll be hoping to wrack up more than the 77 laps he got in 2022 – his only preparation for the season after Nikita Mazepin was ditched late on.

    TeamDriver (AM)Driver (PM)
    Red BullMax VerstappenSergio Perez
    FerrariCarlos SainzCharles Leclerc
    MercedesLewis HamiltonGeorge Russell
    AlpineEsteban OconPierre Gasly
    McLarenLando NorrisOscar Piastri
    Alfa RomeoZhou GuanyuZhou Guanyu
    Aston MartinFernando AlonsoFernando Alonso
    HaasKevin Magnussen Nico Hulkenberg
    AlphaTauriYuki Tsunoda Nyck de Vries
    WilliamsLogan SargeantLogan Sargeant

    Testing Day 3 – Saturday

    The day that really matters. Typically the last day of testing is where teams go all-out looking for the fastest time of the event, which makes it interesting that Red Bull have opted for Sergio Perez over Verstappen.

    For the evening session, Bottas, Magnussen, Tsunoda and Albon all get their shot at putting the fastest time of the day down, with each team preferring their most experienced driver.

    TeamDriver (AM)Driver (PM)
    Red BullSergio PerezSergio Perez
    FerrariCharles LeclercCarlos Sainz
    MercedesGeorge RussellLewis Hamilton
    AlpinePierre GaslyEsteban Ocon
    McLarenOscar PiastriLando Norris
    Alfa RomeoValtteri BottasValtteri Bottas
    Aston MartinFelipe DrugovichFernando Alonso
    HaasNico HulkenbergKevin Magnussen
    AlphaTauriNyck de VriesYuki Tsunoda
    WilliamsAlex AlbonAlex Albon


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