When and where is F1 testing 2023?

    Formula 1 testing gets underway with just a week to go until the start of the 2023 season.


    With all the Formula 1 car launches complete, attention now turns to pre-season testing as teams see those cars in action for the first time.

    With some teams, such as Red Bull, only having released show cars at their livery launches it will be a chance for fans to see exactly where teams are at heading into the season.

    Teams have just three days and a combined 25.5 hours on track so reliability – and keeping it out of the wall – is absolutely key.

    Where is F1 testing?

    The 2023 F1 pre-season test will take place at the Bahrain International Circuit, which has hosted testing since the start of 2021.

    A high-speed track where drivers spend over 70% of the lap at full-throttle there’s still the twisty second sector to balance the challenge.

    In 2022 testing, Max Verstappen set a fastest time of 1:31.729, though Charles Leclerc smashed that three weeks later in qualifying for the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix with a time of 1:30.448.

    The fastest lap in the race was 1:34.570 though, a long way off what Verstappen clocked at the same circuit in 2021 pre-season testing, when he stopped the clock at 1:28.960 – faster than anyone else could manage over the grand prix weekend.

    In 2023 Bahrain will again play host to the first race of the season, so teams will want to get everything they can out of the three days of running.

    Alpine’s Esteban Ocon during 2022 testing | REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

    When is F1 testing?

    Testing begins on Thursday 23 February, at 7:00 UK time. There’s two four-hour sessions per day, 7-11:00 and 12:00-16:30.

    The sun sets at around 17:30 local time (Bahrain is three hours ahead of the UK) so teams will get around 90 minutes of night-time running that will best simulate conditions for the Bahrain GP.

    That will kick off the F1 season just a week after testing finishes, meaning it will be a tight turnaround for teams to fix any issues that do present themselves.

    Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain | REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed


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