Yahoo Canada is committed to finding you the best products at the best prices. We may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Pricing and availability are subject to change.

Formula 1 preseason testing is officially over, and here are the results

Trying to make any conclusions from Formula 1 pre-season testing has historically not gone well. Teams and drivers are figuring out their respective cars; you never know who is sandbagging, and this year, issues with the track have wrought a tiny amount of chaos on the whole ordeal. Looking at the timing sheets at the end of each day might not mean a whole lot when it comes to who will be fastest come the real race weekend (which is next week!), but that doesn't mean we won't take a look to see how testing went for the various teams on the grid.

The first day of testing saw triple Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen set an ominous pace as Red Bull, dominant last year, picked up where they left off. Verstappen was comfortably faster than the quickest lap of the opening day of 2023 testing, completing 143 laps — two race distances — and wrapping up 1.140 clear of closest rival Lando Norris in the McLaren.

George Russell completed all the testing laps for Mercedes the first day, giving everybody their first good look at the car's interesting, new front wing design (just above). Team boss Toto Wolff said the mood in the team was positive, with Mercedes putting the emphasis on creating a stable platform for development and spending time making changes to the car in the garage. Meanwhile, Russell said that he thinks the new car is nicer to drive than last year, so that's a small positive for Mercedes fans to walk away from testing with.

The second day of testing saw Ferrari pick up where it left off in Las Vegas free practice – running over a loose drain cover, causing damage to the car. Only this time instead of Carlos Sainz finding the cover, it was Charles Leclerc. Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton also clipped the cover, sending debris flying into the air. This caused a red flag and for the session to be delayed, but the time was made up for in the afternoon.

Ultimately, it was Carlos Sainz who found himself at the top of the timing sheet in day two, this after the team had to make repairs to the car as a result of the drainage cover incident. Sergio Perez had his first time in the car on day two and managed to put it in second, just behind Sainz.

The third and final day of testing saw yet another drain cover be ripped up after Sergio Perez ran it over, causing red flags and further delays, lasting over an hour. Prior to the delay, Carlos Sainz was fastest, again. McLaren and Sauber both fought technical issues with their cars throughout the final session, and American Logan Sargeant was the only driver who didn't get seat time on the final day. As testing concluded, Leclerc found himself at the top by just 0.046 second, barely edging out Russel in second place.

One thing the teams seem to agree on is that Red Bull has found even more pace to leap further ahead of the pack than last year. "There's one car that seems to have found a big step," McLaren team principal Andrea Stella told reporters on Thursday. "Unfortunately, (that's) the car that was already the quickest last year."

"I think Red Bull clearly are out in the distance," Mercedes' seven times world champion Lewis Hamilton also chimed in.

As for Verstappen, he also sounded perfectly happy with his new Red Bull car. "I couldn't really wish for more, I was actually wishing for less perhaps," Verstappen said. "I did a lot of laps, everything went well, the balance was very nice ... completed the whole program without any problems."

All of the best lap times for each driver for the final day of testing (along with the tire compound used for that lap) is pasted below for your perusal, but again, take these with a grain of salt because you never know what kind of pace each team is waiting to unleash come the real race weekend.

  • Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, 1m 30.322s, C4 - 74 laps

  • George Russell, Mercedes 1m 30.368s, C4 - 67 laps

  • Guanyu Zhou, Sauber, 1m 30.647s, C4 - 85 laps

  • Max Verstappen, Red Bull, 1m 30.755s, C3 - 66 laps

  • Yuki Tsunoda, RB, 1m 30.775s, C4 - 53 laps

  • Alex Albon, Williams, 1m 30.984s, C4 - 121 laps

  • Oscar Piastri, McLaren, 1m 31.030s, C3 - 91 laps

  • Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin, 1m 31.159s, C3 - 75 laps

  • Carlos Sainz, Ferrari, 1m 31.247s, C3 - 71 laps

  • Sergio Perez, Red Bull, 1m 31.483s, C3 - 53 laps

  • Nico Hulkenberg, Haas, 1m 31.686s, C3 - 89 laps

  • Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1m 31.999s, C5 - 49 laps

  • Lance Stroll, Aston Martin, 1m 32.038s, C3 - 46 laps

  • Lando Norris, McLaren, 1m 32.108s, C3 - 20 laps

  • Pierre Gasly, Alpine, 1m 32.149s, C3 - 47 laps

  • Kevin Magnussen, Haas, 1m 33.053s, C3 - 80 laps

  • Esteban Ocon, Alpine, 1m 33.079s, C3 - 55 laps

  • Valtteri Bottas, Sauber, 1m 33.528s, C3 - 28 laps

  • Daniel Ricciardo, RB, 1m 37.015s, C1 - 70 laps

  • Logan Sargeant, Williams, No time – 0 laps

Luckily for us, that first race weekend is coming in hot, as the teams will stay at Sakhir for the Bahrain GP that will take oddly take place on Saturday, March 2, at 10 a.m. ET. That means qualifying is on Friday, so make sure you don't miss it. In the meantime, the latest season of "Drive To Survive" is launching today on Netflix, so you can relive last season's drama over the next week as we all await the kickoff of 2024 Formula 1 racing.

Material from Reuters was used in this report.

You Might Also Like