Here’s What We Learned From Formula 1 Testing One Week Prior To The Start Of The 2023 Season

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We are now officially just six days away from the start of the 2023 Formula 1 season in Bahrain.

The first practice session of the year takes place Friday at 6:30 a.m. ET with the Bahrain Grand Prix two days later at 10 a.m.

With that said, the teams took to the track as a group for the first time this season for preseason testing this weekend in Bahrain.

Teams were given six test sessions, two a day on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, to dial in their cars before the season begins.

With help from Twitter user @F1DataAnalysis, we’ve used those test sessions to draw some major takeaways heading into the new season.

1. Red Bull Racing Is Still The King Of The Hill After Formula 1 Testing In Bahrain

When we last left our heroes, Red Bull Racing was once again at the top of the heap. Dutchmen Max Verstappen ran away with his second drivers championship, while Red Bull cruised to its first constructors title since 2013.

Fast forward a few months and it appears not too much has changed.

While context such as fuel load and setup need to applied, Red Bull topped the time sheet on two of the three days of testing. Sergio Perez’s lap time of 1:30.305 on Saturday was the fastest of the entire weekend.

But while last year was all about straight-line speed for Red Bull, this year it appears to be all about mechanical grip.

F1 Data Analysis shows that the RB19 has an immense advantage in cornering speeds and works incredibly well under a high load.

This should also allow Red Bull to have a lot of success taking care of tires, which should help its race pace. Good luck, everyone else.

2. Ferrari Has A Rocket Ship In A Straight Line

Ferrari, perhaps the sports most famous team, had a renaissance of sorts in 2022. After a troubling 2021, Ferrari star Charles Leclerc took second to Verstappen in the drivers championship and the team took second behind Red Bull.

But the season was not without its problems for the Scuderia. Ferrari were massively behind Red Bull in terms of straight-line speed and struggled with reliability when it tried to produce more power.

That does not seem to be an issue anymore.

Ferrari routinely showed to have the highest top speed of any team on the grid over the three days. Additionally, it showed no sign of reliability issues with its new power unit.

Struggles for race pace and cornering speed mean that Ferrari is still lagging behind Red Bull, it’s clear the team has made improvements.

3. Aston Martin’s Newfound Speed Is Real And It Is You Friend

You would think this third takeaway would be in reference to perennial powerhouse Mercedes. You know, the team that dominated for the better of the last decade?

Well, you’d be wrong.

The Mercs were solid in testing and showed good race pace. But it appears that Mercedes hasn’t quite made the inroads that most expected.

Instead, the surprise of the three-week session was British racing royalty, Aston Martin.

Aston Martin’s weekend began on a sour note with driver Lance Stroll unable to participate following a cycling accident. But that didn’t slow the team down (no pun intended).

Aston Martin showed impressive cornering speeds, especially in low-speed corners, to go along with impressive ability in the braking zones.

While two-time series champion Fernando Alonso is no doubt a monster on the brakes, it’s an impressive sign that he can enter a corner with such speed and without risk of locking up or understeer.

The 2023 Aston Martin appears to be a real podium contender to start the year, and that’s bad news for the folks over at Mercedes.