Formula 1 teams get to show off their cars to each other for the first time during pre-season testing. This gives them important information about how the competition will be for the upcoming season. The three-day testing session this year will take place in Bahrain, the same location as last year's season-opening (which is a little over a week away). Before the Bahrain Grand Prix, which is scheduled for March 2, the testing phase is scheduled to run from February 29 to March 2. During this time, the team plans will be greatly affected by the lessons learned from testing.
Notable changes include AlphaTauri's renaming as RB and Sauber's decision to ditch its Alfa Romeo name in favour of sponsorship from Stake. Most of the grid, however, has remained mostly unaltered. Fans can hardly contain their excitement for the next Formula One season, and they can't wait to see the new 2024 vehicle liveries in action during pre-season testing.
A filming day, also called a shakedown, is carried out by teams before the actual testing. Teams can cover up to 200km of track time in preparation for the tough testing sessions, making sure the new car is fully functional.
F1: What Happens at Pre-season Testing?
As the Formula One racing season approaches, teams have the opportunity to test out different configurations, parts, and software during pre-season testing. In pre-season testing, getting to know the new car is more important than in regular races, where speed is king. In order to learn how the car performs in diverse environments, gathering as many laps as possible is the main goal. During this testing phase, teams are free to experiment with any setup configurations they wish. Essentially, it's three days of very focused practice on the new F1 vehicle, designed to help you get to know them better. Think of it as an extended version of Free Practice 1.
F1: Where to Watch Pre-season Testing in India?
While confirmation of the official airing times is still waiting, last year's trend suggests that Formula 1 will air the full Bahrain test on F1 TV in areas where the service is available. F1 TV Pro subscribers can look forward to live coverage of the races, providing an immersive viewing experience with real-time access to onboard cameras.
F1: Does it Reflect a True Assessment of Competition?
Although preseason testing does not give a perfect picture of the true competitive order, it does show how clubs have improved or declined from the previous year.
Although it has its limits, preseason testing does provide some information on possible competitors. It is worth mentioning that Red Bull has been a formidable opponent in the past two sessions, carrying over their early season dominance into their following campaigns.