Winners and losers from 2023 F1 pre-season testing in Bahrain

Three days of 2023 F1 testing are finally complete, and the pecking order is still undecided. But who are the teams and drivers ending testing smiling or wondering if they should have stayed at home?

-

The talking now stops after 2023 F1 testing came to an end, as the winners and losers emerge and the wait for the 2023 Formula 1 season opener Bahrain Grand Prix gets shorter and shorter.

In what will be the longest F1 season to date, F1 teams in 2023 will have to find the balance between reliability and speed, which has never been more crucial, with most teams enjoying trouble free sessions during testing.

Some, like Red Bull and Aston Martin hit the ground running in the desert, producing eye-catching lap times, while others are already considering returning to the drawing board.

Although it’s too early to say what the grid will look like at the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix, some F1 teams will go into race week feeling more upbeat than others. But who are the winners and losers from testing?

Winners

Red Bull

Max Verstappen dons his Red Bull helmet for day one of 2023 F1 Testing at the Bahrain International Circuit | Mark Thompson/Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Many questioned how much speed Red Bull had lost through their 20% reduction in wind tunnel time, but testing was smooth as butter for the reigning F1 champions.

Max Verstappen showcased speed on days one and two of testing, whilst Sergio Perez got plenty of miles under his belt.

During the final session of the test, the team focused on long runs before switching to the softs completing over 100 laps, with Perez setting the fastest time of the day.

Felipe Drugovich

Felipe Drugovich in action on day one of 2023 F1 Testing in Bahrain | Aston Martin F1 Team

On Monday, Felipe Drugovich looked as though he would be a spectator, but when Lance Stroll was ruled out of testing, the 2022 Formula 2 champion stepped up.

Drugovich was given two-morning sessions and got progressively faster as he found his grove racking the miles in the AMR23, completing a total of 117 laps.

With Stroll likely to be unfit for at least the first two races of the year, Drugovich has a chance to showcase his talents which may land him a full-time drive in 2024.

Aston Martin

Fernando Alonso races into the night at 2023 F1 Testing in Bahrain | Aston Martin F1 Team

Could El Plan finally be working? After testing, things look very rosy for Aston Martin after three superb days of running.

Fernando Alonso has looked right at home since arriving at the team, and the AMR23’s pace has given him a real chance of fighting for podiums again.

Drugovich settled in well, and with some of their midfield rivals struggling, Aston may find themselves on the coattails of Mercedes if they continue to improve.

Losers

Lance Stroll

Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll arrives before 2022 F1 testing | REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

The first loser from testing didn’t even turn a lap in Bahrain. Stroll was admitted to hospital on Monday after a minor cycling accident in Spain.

As a result, Stroll missed the whole of testing, and there are now doubts about whether he will race next week because of the severity of the injury.

Even if fit, Stroll will come into the weekend not fully recovered from his injuries, and with no track time under his belt, the season opener may turn into a glorified test session.

Alpine

2023 Alpine F1 car | Alpine F1 team

With expectations high before the season, Alpine will probably come away from testing unsure as to where they stand in the pecking order.

The A523 may have performed well during the shakedown, but in Bahrain, both Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon struggled with both understeer and oversteer.

Yet team personnel are much more optimistic about the new car, so it could be a classic of sandbagging from the Anglo-French team.

McLaren

Lando Norris gets his first taste of the 2023 McLaren at pre-season testing in Bahrain | McLaren F1 Team

Even before the teams touched down in Sakhir, McLaren were already playing down their expectations stating the MCL60 wasn’t quite where they wanted.

Testing proved not much better as Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris lost plenty of track time due to technical issues putting them firmly on the back foot.

Although the team played down the issues on the final day of running McLaren, they go into round one admitting they haven’t met their performance goals.

Ed Spencer
FIA accredited journalist
- Advertisment -

LATEST NEWS

Red Bull bosses agree on Liam Lawson F1 prospects in 2025

0
Christian Horner and RB CEO Peter Bayer refused to back Liam Lawson's prospects for a full-time Formula 1 drive...

After Carlos Sainz’s Mercedes denial, why does his future remain an enigma?

0
Ferrari swinging the axe on Carlos Sainz's career in scarlet must have stung, but the Spaniard at least had...

Where does Charles Leclerc rank 2024 Monaco Grand Prix win?

0
Charles Leclerc is a race winner for the first time in almost two years as the Ferrari ace crushed...

What we learned from the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix

0
The 2024 Monaco Grand Prix may not have served up a classic, but it wasn’t short on storylines as...

Look away Checo – Horner praises Perez’s F1 rival as star fights for Red...

0
Christian Horner insists Red Bull will make a decision about Sergio Perez's Red Bull future "in the fullness of...

F1 Winners and Losers of 2024 Monaco GP

0
Charles Leclerc vanquished his Monte Carlo demons to finally take victory at his home race, while Red Bull continued...

F1 Driver Ratings – Monaco GP 2024

0
Charles Leclerc was in dreamland as the Ferrari driver finally celebrated an elusive victory at home race at the...

2024 Indy 500 Race Results

0
Josef Newgarden joined an elite group of drivers by winning the Indy 500 for the second consecutive year in...

Newgarden takes sensational Indy 500 win after epic battle for glory

0
The Indianapolis 500 never fails to excite and even a four-hour rain delay couldn't dampen the drama for IndyCar's...

2024 Indy 500: Results and Highlights as Newgarden wins

0
Welcome to this Total Motorsport live blog for the 2024 Indy 500, is among the most prestigious motorsport events...
- Advertisment -
Exit mobile version