F1 test day 1: Alonso 2nd behind Verstappen with Sainz 3rd

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F1 test day 1: Alonso 2nd behind Verstappen with Sainz 3rd

In some preseason tests, the times are almost its minimum. Everyone knows this, but Fernando’s fans can’t avoid it alonso finish the first day of official rehearsals with a smile Bahrain. The Asturian finished in second position of the day, with a time of 1’32”866, just 29 thousandths of a second behind Max Verstappen. Everyone knows the theory. Although Fernando made the time later than the Dutchman, in better track conditions. But the truth is that the Asturian’s first day behind his Aston Martin AMR23 was positive. That is a fact. Perhaps his position is not true. There are thousands of examples: Pierre Gasly led the previous first day of the F1 test in 2022 in Bahrain and then he just put the fight in the middle zone. Norris also topped the first day of testing in Barcelona last year and ended up struggling in mid-table. Time has no meaning now. But what no one can deny is the good feelings with which the green team worked in pursuit of the main goals set by either group on the first day of testing: collect data and check the correlation of what the track says with the data shuffled from the simulator. And in that sense, the day was beautiful.

Final classification:

Day 1 of the F1 2023 test in Bahrain

1 Max Verstappen (PB/Red Bull) 1:32.837 (157 v)
2 Fernando Alonso (ESP/Aston Martin) +0.029 (60 v)
3 Carlos Sainz (ESP/Ferrari) +0.416 (72 v)
4 Charles Leclerc (MON/Ferrari) +0.430 (64 v)
5 Lando Norris (GBR/McLaren) +0.625 (40v)
6 Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes) +0.671 (83 v)
7 Alexander Albon (TAI/Williams) +0.834 (74 v)
8. Guanyu Zhou (CHI/Alfa Romeo) +0.886 (67 v)
9 George Russell (GBR/Mercedes) +1,337 (69 v)
10 Logan Sargeant (USA/Williams) +1,487 (75 v)
11 Nico Hülkenberg (GER/Haas)+1,587 (51 v)
12 Valtteri Bottas (FIN/Alfa Romeo) +1,721 (71 v)
13 Nyck De Vries (PB/AlphaTauri) +1,722 (85 v)
14 Felipe Drugovich (BRA/Aston Martin) +1,727 (40 laps)
15 Yuki Tsunoda (JAP/AlphaTauri) +1,834 (46 v)
16 Pierre Gasly (FRA/Alpine) +1.985 (60v)
17 Esteban Ocon (FRA/ Alpine)+2,034 (53 v)
18 Oscar Piastri (AUS/McLaren) +2,051 (52 v)
19 Kevin Magnussen (CAN/Haas) +2,250 (57 v)

They overcome two problems

The day started off in the worst possible way for those in green. On the first lap given by test driver Felipe Drugovich, the car stopped. A minor electronic problem was detected and after that the car made only two turns with two and a half hours to go. From there, the 22-year-old completed a total of 40 laps with the sole aim of collecting aerodynamic data on a car that was “95%” new compared to last year. The team wants to release Alonso from that job, which will come in the afternoon. I will make it focused on understanding car behavior and collecting data in the long run.

Once again, the afternoon seemed twisted by a stroke of bad luck. After the first two laps, during a practice pit stop, part of the floor broke when the car was lowered to the ground. That caused the team to lose valuable time which was added in the morning. And that, in just 3 days of testing and being the team with the most changes to its car compared to last year, is nothing more than very bad news. However, the team was able to adapt their program to achieve their goals with a good finish in the afternoon, without problems and with Alonso finishing with 60 laps, added to Drugovich’s 40 a total of 100. The feelings is positive, but it’s close to finding out where the green car will occupy the grid. Having that problem, Alonso made his fastest lap attempt on a new tire later, in better track conditions than Max. Alonso is second, but it’s still early if you look at the times.

Verstappen is scary; Ferrari, solid but with rebound

In a pre-season test, and especially on the first day, the most important thing is to do as many laps as possible to collect as much data, and above all, to do it without problems. In both aspects, Red Bull embroidered it with a Max Verstappen who rolled more than the top. He was the only driver who drove in the morning and afternoon and he did almost non-stop, covering at least 157 laps. But what was most striking was the calmness he produced and the feeling that he was no longer in control of everything.

In an evolution of the champion car that surprised by bringing a very good terrain to the track, with an aggressive and unique edge of the land due to how narrow it is in its central part, Verstappen seems to have done his homework since he began. He rolls and rolls well, completes long runs effortlessly, sets good times without breaking a sweat and doesn’t bounce on the straight. And on top of that, Max set the best time in two sessions without breaking a sweat.

Ferrari also had a strong day, with a total of 136 laps (72 for Sainz, with the third fastest time, and 64 for Leclerc in the afternoon, with the fourth fastest time of the day). The Ferrari ran without apparent problems, however, it did not leave the feeling of strength with which the Red Bull finished. The red car was seen to suffer a rebound in a straight line that neither the Red Bull, nor the Mercedes had.

The Alpine was also seen to bounce a lot despite going higher than a Ferrari which rolled very close to the ground. Those from Maranello have to work here, although it is too early to draw conclusions in a test where the silent Mercedes completed a positive day, with no setbacks, with Hamilton finishing in sixth position with the end of the day marked by his running long.

It was a busy two days for everyone. We will have to wait until Saturday for the drivers to come close to giving some clues about the real positions that will be seen next week at this track in Bahrain in the first race of the year. Right now, it’s too early to draw conclusions.

Source: La Verdad

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