How can I watch F1 pre-season testing 2023?

Find out when, where and how to watch Formula 1 testing before the new 2023 F1 season begins

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Formula 1 is back after a winter break which has seen the teams evolving and updating their cars for the new 2023 F1 season, where Max Verstappen and Red Bull are expected to be the combination to beat.

Charles Leclerc and Ferrari put up a title fight for the first half of the 2022, before a series of mistakes from the team and driver saw their championship challenge fall away.

Mercedes are hoping to bounce back after Lewis Hamilton went winless in a season for the first time in his career, whilst George Russell is looking to add to his wins tally after he took a maiden victory in Sao Paulo.

The Bahrain Grand Prix will kickstart the season, but before that there is the all-important, and we really mean that, matter of F1 pre-season testing.

Where is F1 pre-season testing 2023?

Just like 2021, Sakhir is the only destination for F1 pre-season testing at the Bahrain International Circuit.

Since 2004, the Bahrain GP has been a staple on the F1 calendar since 2004 when it became the first ever Grand Prix to be held in the Middle East.

Recently, it has been used as a testing venue due to almost certain dry conditions and warmer weather in the winter which is more representative than the conditions in Barcelona.

When is F1 pre-season testing 2023?

There will be three days of testing before the season-opening race, with eight-and-a-half hours of running on each day from February 23-25.

A four hour session will take place on the morning of the Thursday, Friday and Saturday of those testing dates just mentioned from 07:00 to 11:00 with a four-and-half-hour session in the evening from 12:00 to 16:30 UK time.

How to watch F1 pre-season testing 2023?

In the UK, Sky Sports F1 will show every minute of testing from Bahrain. As has been the case in previous years, Sky and F1 Media will combine for commentating and reporting duties.

David Croft, Alex Jacques, Will Buxton, Jolyon Palmer, Anthony Davidson and Rachel Brookes will be part of the coverage across the three days.

In January, it was revealed Johnny Herbert and Paul di Resta will not be part of Sky’s F1 punditry team this year.

Max Verstappen talks to former racer and Sky Sports F1 pundit Johnny Herbert (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)

At 20:30 UK time, after each test day, Ted Kravitz will have his notebook, Ted’s Notebook, where he recaps what happened and talks to people in the paddock.

Here are details of what F1‘s testing coverage will look like in the UK:

Thursday, February 23 F1 Testing UK Coverage

ProgrammeTime
Live F1 testing morning session06:50 to 11:05
Live F1 testing afternoon session11:50 to 16:35
Testing round-up20:00 to 20:30
Ted’s Notebook20:30 to 21:00

Friday, February 24 F1 Testing UK Coverage

ProgrammeTime
Live F1 testing morning session06:50 to 11:05
Live F1 testing afternoon session11:50 to 16:35
Testing round-up20:00 to 20:30
Ted’s Notebook20:30 to 21:00

Saturday, February 25 F1 Testing UK Coverage

ProgrammeTime
Live F1 testing morning session06:50 to 11:05
Live F1 testing afternoon session11:50 to 16:35
Testing round-up20:00 to 20:30
Ted’s Notebook20:30 to 21:00
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc of Ferrari battle during the Bahrain GP 2022. Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

What date is the first F1 race?

The 2023 F1 season will begin with the Bahrain GP from March 3-5, with two practice sessions on the Friday, final practice and qualifying on the Saturday, before the season-opening race on the Sunday.

Formula 2 and Formula 3 will also be in action for the first round of their championships as part of the F1 support series programme.

In 2022, Leclerc led a Ferrari 1-2 from teammate Carlos Sainz after both Red Bull drivers failed to finish due to reliability issues.

Earlier in the race, Leclerc and Verstappen went wheel to wheel multiple times through Sector 1, which provides a great opportunity to overtake and re-pass.

Nigel Chiu
Nigel Chiuhttps://total-motorsport.com/author/nigel-chiu/
Nigel Chiu is an NCTJ-qualified journalist who worked at Total-Motorsport for 18 months until May 2023. He has been following F1 since 2007 and hasn’t missed a Grand Prix weekend since. Nigel’s worked with several motorsport websites, plus Eurosport and subsequently went on to work with Sky Sports F1 where he travels to multiple F1 races each season.
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