Live: F1 Bahrain pre-season test - Day 1

Formula 1 pre-season testing starts in Bahrain ahead of the 2023 season with the opening day of the single test.

Live: F1 Bahrain pre-season test - Day 1

Testing starts on Thursday 23 February at 07:00 GMT (10:00 local time) and runs until Saturday. All three days follow the same schedule, with running taking place from 10:00 until 14:15, and from 15:15 until 19:30 (all local time), pausing for a lunch break.

All 10 teams are set to be in action for the Bahrain pre-season test, which is the only pre-season test ahead of the 2023 season.

More: F1 Bahrain test driver line-up

The Bahrain pre-season test will take place on 23-25 February ahead of the 2023 F1 season opener at the same venue, the Bahrain Grand Prix, on 3-5 March.

By: Haydn Cobb, Megan White, James Newbold, Stefan Mackley, Stephen Lickorish


  • Max Verstappen tops the first day of F1 pre-season testing for Red Bull, logging 157 laps across both sessions
  • Nearest challenger Fernando Alonso comes 0.029s short with Aston Martin as Ferrari drivers Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc end up third and fourth
  • Teams are mostly reliable, aside from early red flag caused by electronics problem for Felipe Drugovich's Aston Martin - the Brazilian reserve driver subbing for injured Lance Stroll
  • Bahrain hosts three-day test one week before opening round
  1. Verstappen, Red Bull, 1m32.837s - 157 laps
  2. Alonso, Aston Martin, 1m32.866s - 60 laps
  3. Sainz, Ferrari, 1m33.253s - 72 laps
  4. Leclerc, Ferrari, 1m33.257s - 64 laps
  5. Norris, McLaren, 1m33.462s - 40 laps
  6. Hamilton, Mercedes, 1m33.508s - 83 laps
  7. Albon, Williams, 1m33.671s - 74 laps
  8. Zhou, Alfa Romeo, 1m33.723s - 67 laps
  9. Russell, Mercedes, 1m34.174s - 69 laps
  10. Sargeant, Williams, 1m34.324s - 75 laps
  11. Hulkenberg, Haas, 1m34.424s - 51 laps
  12. Bottas, Alfa Romeo, 1m34.558s - 71 laps
  13. De Vries, AlphaTauri, 1m34.559s - 85 laps
  14. Drugovich, Aston Martin, 1m34.564s - 40 laps
  15. Tsunoda, AlphaTauri, 1m34.671s - 46 laps
  16. Gasly, Alpine, 1m34.822s - 60 laps
  17. Ocon, Alpine, 1m34.871s - 53 laps
  18. Piastri, McLaren, 1m34.888s - 52 laps
  19. Magnussen, Haas, 1m35.087s - 57 laps
Status: Stopped
You'd imagine that Adrian Newey would be rather happy with how today panned out, but the Red Bull man is rarely satisfied to settle and we are still in the very early days with much still to be worked out. We'll be back bright and early tomorrow to bring you all the updates as they happen out on track. Until then, thank you for joining us.
Here's the full report from day one of testing, topped by Max Verstappen and Red Bull:
A none-too shabby first day back at school for Nico Hulkenberg, who went completely under the radar. Whether that will be a good thing or not is one to determine next week.
Of those that only did one session, Nyck de Vries totalled an impressive 85 laps for AlphaTauri, shading Hamilton on 83, Sargeant on 75, Albon on 74, Sainz on 72 and Bottas on 71.
The final lap tally for Max Verstappen is a monster 157. That's 17 fewer than the GTE Pro-winning Porsche mustered in the 2021 6 Hours of Bahrain World Endurance Championship round, if you want a completely meaningless comparison.
So just 0.029s in it between Red Bull and Aston Martin. If this were next Saturday in Q3, you have our permission to get excited. But as this is only day one of testing, everything must still be taken with a pinch of salt for now.
There's some interesting exchanges on their final laps from Leclerc and de Vries, the AlphaTauri driver almost running into the back of the Ferrari into Turn 10 as he attempted to stay close onto the back straight. But no harm, no foul.
The checkered flag is out, bringing an end to day one of testing with Max Verstappen fastest for Red Bull ahead of Fernando Alonso's Aston Martin.
One notable thing about that lap from Hamilton was there were a lot of sparks emanating from the underfloor of that W14. Always pleasing on the eye under the floodlights.
Hamilton it seems is running on the C1 hard tyres, so we're unlikely to see him trouble the top of the charts in the closing stages. The seven-time champion is sixth at present.
Norris after his delayed start to the session has now made it onto 40 laps, matching the lowest tally of the morning by Drugovich. So nobody it seems is really lagging desperately behind on mileage, which is encouraging given the limited time the teams have available to iron out issues before the first race.
And sure enough, we're back to green now with less than 10 minutes of the opening day in testing to go. Leclerc emerges from the pits on a new set of the C3 tyres but with a set of strengthening bars attached from the front suspension to the front wing.
The virtual safety car period is underway. Hopefully we'll be back to fully green running soon.
The shorts give the game away: he's a bit less busy than this time last year. Will we see new Mercedes reserve Mick Schumacher back on an F1 grid next year? 
Alonso has re-emerged from a visit to the pits to have some day-glo paint added to the right-hand side of his car.
Yellow flags are out, but we expect this to be another virtual safety car test rather than a sign of a problem for somebody out on track.
It's rare you see an error from Alonso, so great is his experience, but the Aston driver makes a bit of a hash of Turn 1 with a lock up that sends him deep into the runoff area.
Just over 15 minutes to go then, and Lando Norris is turning up the heat. He posts a 1m33.462s to move his McLaren into fifth, slotting in ahead of Hamilton.
As we follow Bottas around the lap, it's with a tinge of regret that we face the prospect of this being Alfa Romeo's last season in F1 as its title sponsorship of the Sauber team heads towards its close. So where does its latest creation rank against its best lookers? I'll admit to being a sucker for the Benetton-liveried 184T of 1984. Here it's pictured en-route to third at Monza with Riccardo Patrese at the wheel.


Alonso goes for another push lap on the C3 tyres, and keeps it nailed even as he runs wide on the exit of the final corner, but drops two tenths after improving in his middle sector to end up two tenths shy of his previous best.