Logan Sargeant

Formula 1 News: What they’re saying after Bahrain Testing Day 1

What the F1 teams were saying after the first day of 2024 preseason testing in Bahrain Wednesday.

–by Mark Cipolloni–

Max Verstappen
“It feels good to be back in an F1 car again, and I had fun out on track today. We covered a lot of laps and tried quite a few things with the car, which was important, so happy overall with how it went. After the winter break, the first few laps always surprise you a little but then you get back into the swing of things pretty quickly. Overall, the car was responding well and considering this was only testing we had a nice day. Looking to tomorrow, we are speaking to our engineers about what the plans will be, but I am looking forward to getting into the car in the afternoon.”

GianPiero Lambiase, Red Bull Head of Race Engineering
“The winter break was fairly short this year but, nonetheless, the amount of work which has gone into the car has been impressive as usual. We came to Bahrain with a few unknowns around a relatively new car, but we have tested most of the fundamentals on day one and got the answers we needed to. Now we have a solid base to take onto days two and three, when Checo takes over the car in the morning.”

Adrian Newey
“It was clear to us that everyone else would copy our car from last year. If we had only relied on further development, we would have been vulnerable.”

Adrian Newey

Charles Leclerc #16
Our first morning of testing was quite productive, especially in terms of mileage. As for the performance, it’s just too early to comment or draw conclusions. We ran all the tests we planned to and things are going ahead as expected, which is a positive. We will continue working and hope to have two more useful days of testing ahead of the GP.

Carlos Sainz #55
It’s been a positive first day of testing here in Bahrain with 373 km completed. We managed to go through the whole program without issues, gathering some useful data to better understand the SF-24 together with the engineers. As usual with preseason testing, it’s too early to draw any conclusions yet, so we’ll keep maximizing the upcoming two days of running to get ready for the start of the season next week. It felt good to be back properly behind the wheel after the winter break

Carlos Sainz Jr. #55 Ferrari

Esteban Ocon, AM session,
“It was the first day of proper running with the new car and it was good to get 60 laps under our belt in the morning session. It was also nice to get out on track again and feel the sensation of driving after the winter break. We completed the intended program and found things to work and improve on in the coming days. At this stage of the test, it’s about getting a decent feel of the car and for the overall balance. We will keep going and continue working hard for the remainder of the test. I’m back in the car tomorrow afternoon and already looking ahead and working hard with the team.”

Esteban Ocon (FRA) Alpine F1 Team A524. Formula One Testing, Day One, Wednesday 21st February 2024. Sakhir, Bahrain.

Pierre Gasly, PM session,
“It’s great to be back in the car to start the 2024 season. It’s been a positive day where we ran our program accurately and completed all our intended laps. That is the most important thing about testing: to run reliably and complete plenty of laps. The initial feeling in the car is good but now it is important for us to dig into the data, do our analysis and continue to unlock performance. I’m back in the car tomorrow morning and I’m already looking forward to continuing that hard work.”

Dave Robson, Williams Head of Vehicle Performance:
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 tires 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 preseason testing left and therefore plenty of opportunity to complete our preparation for the season ahead.

Valtteri Bottas:
“We had a productive first morning of testing, and I’m thrilled to be back on track. It seems that we have made some improvements compared to last year and we were able to get a good feel for our car. The correlation between our simulator data and what we’re experiencing on the track is definitely reassuring, especially on the first day of testing. We started with a solid baseline setup for the car and were able to log some good mileage. Now, our focus shifts to fine-tuning and understanding raw lap times in the coming days. While our progress feels promising, the true improvement of performance will be revealed next week.”

Valtteri Bottas in the Sauber C44
Valtteri Bottas in the Sauber C44

Zhou Guanyu:
“Today has been a promising day for us; we were able to complete our program for the day, focusing on the long runs and on switching between different setups. Our car seems to be heading in the right direction, and even though there is definitely still room for improvement, the feeling is pretty good. I reckon the aggressive approach we have taken over the winter allowed us to make a step forward compared to last year’s car, and you can tell the difference out there on track, which is great. Now, for the next two days, it’ll be important to tick all the boxes, in order to come prepared ahead of next week. It is too early to say anything about our competitors, as of course everyone is going through their own programs during testing; we will be focusing on our own and aim to get as much mileage and track time as possible.”

Logan Sargeant:
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 Albon
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.

George Russell:

“It was great to drive the W15 for the first time in anger today. From hitting the ground, it felt like we had a good foundation to start from. We completed lots of laps and have plenty of data to go through tonight. We ended the day in a reasonably good spot, and we can build from here over the next two days. We will be focused on maximizing mileage for learning rather than chasing an optimum sweet spot with the car.”

“We know that it’s not about the feeling, but the speed,” he continued. “Nevertheless, today was about learning and not about chasing performance.  “We’re focused on ourselves at this test, and it will only be next week where we see where we stack up against the others. It was a positive first day and I’m looking forward to being back in the car on Friday.”

Mario Isola, Pirelli Tires
“We collected data that will be useful in assessing how progress made by all the teams with their new cars in terms of aerodynamic downforce will impact tire behavior. Furthermore, we have seen teams adopt different approaches, especially when it came to the long runs: for example, some, such as Ferrari and Williams, focussed on a single compound, working on adapting the car set-up to get it working at its best, while others like Mercedes and Red Bull, worked with various compounds.”

Social Media Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com