REPORT: Interrupted first day of Pre-Season Testing

Published on
21 Feb 2024
Est. reading time
3 Min

Team clock up 61 laps as we gather an initial understanding of the FW46

Formula 1 has marked its return with the first day of Pre-Season Testing at the Bahrain International Circuit.
Alex Albon took the wheel in the opening session before handing it over to Logan Sargeant for the evening. Unfortunately, both drivers saw their running cut short by reliability issues.
Our Thai racer recorded 40 laps with a best time of 1:34.587 before a fuel pump failure saw him pull to the side of the road.
Sarge jumped in after lunch but only wracked up 21 tours of the venue as a driveshaft problem cut short his track time – his best lap up to that point was 1:33.882.
Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance, reflects on a curtailed opening day by saying: “Today was not as smooth as we had hoped with two time-consuming issues causing us to end both sessions early: Alex suffered with a fuel pump failure and Logan a driveshaft problem.
“Although both drivers had only limited running, we were able to complete some useful work to understand the basic characteristics of the FW46 and to correlate these with our simulations.
“Whilst there is certainly scope to improve the balance of the car, we are now in a strong position to focus on this tomorrow.
“Having shared the driving with Alex today, Logan will complete the full day tomorrow. This will give him some valuable time in the car as well as the opportunity to run successive sets of new tyres at a range of fuel loads.
“Ideally, we would’ve done more running today, however, we were able to do some very high-value testing, and we uncovered some issues in the process.
“There are two full days of pre-season testing left and therefore plenty of opportunity to complete our preparation for the season ahead.
Logan added: “We didn’t get through everything we wanted to do today but it wasn’t all negative.
“The car is different so that takes some ironing out in a positive way. Whilst it’s the direction we needed to head with the car, there are some balance issues that we still need to tune out but it has taken away a lot of the big issues we had last year.
“It’s just about managing the new way the car needs to be set up and driven, so once we figure it out, it’ll be a better car.
“For the moment, I’ve only done 21 laps, so I’m looking forward to a whole day in the car tomorrow. Hopefully, we can understand the issues we had today and get on top of them.
Alex concluded by commenting: “It was an OK first day. It’s hot and windy out there so not always the nicest conditions to drive in, but generally, it was a relatively smooth day.
“We had a fuel pump issue towards the end of my session which we fixed. We’re trying to understand just how different the car is from last year, however, we know it’s early days to say what the car is like.
“It has definitely fixed some of our previous issues, however, as a consequence, we’re combating some balance trade-offs.
“We’ve got three days of testing which never feels like enough time but we’re getting there and making inroads already.”
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