Formula 1 teams and drivers will have their first official hit-out this year as pre-season testing gets underway today in Bahrain.
Three days of testing will be broken up into two sessions each day with teams fielding one car and splitting running between their two drivers.
Teams are approaching testing with differing strategies, some giving both drivers a session each day whilst others are dedicating a day to each driver and splitting the third.
Defending team champions Red Bull will have Max Verstappen at the helm today whilst Sergio Perez will run all day Saturday with Friday evenly shared between the duo.
Williams have opted for the same strategy, Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant sharing today’s drive before the American takes all day Friday and the Thai driver takes Saturday.
In contrast, Mercedes, Alpine, McLaren, Haas and AlphaTauri will all split the days evenly.
Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and Aston Martin are yet to confirm plans beyond today with drivers sharing a session each.
Aston Martin will be without Lance Stroll, however, the Canadian injured in a cycling accident whilst training and forced to the sidelines. He’s expected to return for next week’s opener.
Felipe Drugovich gets the call up to run in Stroll’s place.
These lineups confirm that Stroll and Perez are the only two fulltime drivers not running in today’s testing.
Each day’s testing begins at 10am local time (8pm NZT) and runs until 2.15pm (12.15am) when a 60minute lunch break takes place.
Cars return to the track at 3.15pm (1.15am) and run until 7.30pm (5.30am).
New Zealander’s will unfortunately miss out on a live broadcast of the event but F1TV subscriptions will provide coverage.
Kiwis will still have plenty to watch as the Netflix show Drive to Survive releases season 5 on the second day of testing the traditional release date for the show.
The Formula 1 season begins next weekend at the same venue.
Thursday testing schedule
Header Image: F1