After a relatively short winter break, the drivers and teams are back to it, as they concluded the 2021 Aramco pre-season testing on March 12-14 – ahead of what’s set to be the longest season in Formula 1’s history.
Pre-season testing was influenced by local conditions. The first day was consistently windy with gusts that reached 47kph (25 knots), affecting the aerodynamics of the cars. As a result of the wind, there was plenty of sand on the track that compromised grip. Temperatures were also particularly high, so the combination of these factors led to some surface overheating and increased tyre degradation.
Throughout all three days, all the compounds performed well and no problems such as graining emerged: only light abrasion on the softest compounds. As well as the weather conditions, lap times were naturally influenced by the different fuel loads run by each team, making performance comparisons with last year’s race and free practice at Bahrain very difficult.
On the second day, the wind still remained but temperatures were lower, which reduced the overheating. As a result, the teams had a better balance with their cars, with plenty of set up work carried out over generally short runs, as was the case on an opening day.
The third and final day was run in better track conditions with moderate winds and a cool breeze but track temperatures similar to the first day. Many teams carried out long runs using the C2, C3 and C4 compound tyres nominated for the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Best times and compounds overall March 12-14
|Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing||1m28.960s (Day 3)||C4|
|Yuki Tsunoda||Scuderia AlphaTauri||1m29.053s (Day 3)||C5|
|Carlos Sainz||Scuderia Ferrari||1m29.611s (Day 3)||C4|
|Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo Orlen||1m29.766s (Day 3)||C5|
|Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes-AMG Petronas||1m30.025s (Day 3)||C5|
|George Russel||Williams Racing||1m30.117s (Day 3)||C5|
|Daniel Ricciardo||McLaren Racing||1m30.144s (Day 3)||C4|
|Sergio Perez||Red Bull Racing||1m30.187s (Day 3)||C4|
|Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes-AMG Petronas||1m30.289s (Day 2)||C5|
|Fernando Alonso||Alpine F1 Team||1m30.318s (Day 3)||C4|
|Pierre Gasly||Scuderia AlphaTauri||1m30.413s (Day 2)||C5|
|Lance Stroll||Aston Martin F1 Team||1m30.460s (Day 2)||C5|
|Charles Leclerc||Scuderia Ferrari||1m30.486s (Day 3)||C3|
|Lando Norris||McLaren Racing||1m30.586s (Day 2)||C4|
|Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Orlen||1m30.760s (Day 2)||C5|
|Esteban Ocon||Alpine F1 Team||1m31.146s (Day 1)||C4|
|Nikita Mazepin||Uralkali Haas F1 Team||1m31.531s (Day 3)||C4|
|Nicholas Latifi||Williams Racing||1m31.672s (Day 2)||C4|
|Mick Schumacher||Uralkali Haas F1 Team||1m32.053s (Day 3)||C3|
|Sebastain Vettel||Aston Martin F1 Team||1m33.742s (Day 1)||PROTO|
|Roy Nissany||Williams Racing||1m34.789s (Day 1)||C3|