F1 testing 2021: Schedule and who’s driving in the Bahrain test

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The Bahrain International Circuit will host the sole collective test ahead of the new season, which will take place across three days from Friday March 12 to Sunday March 14.

While most teams have already completed a shakedown with their new cars, limited to 100km, Bahrain will mark the first opportunity to give them an extensive run-out ahead of the new season.

Only three teams are entering 2021 with the same driver line-up as last year, meaning a number of drivers will spend the test getting used to their new surroundings and working with new faces, adding to the importance of the test.

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Most teams will look to split running between its two race drivers for the coming season, handing them 1.5 days each in the car, but Williams has already confirmed one day of its running will be given to development driver Roy Nissany.

Some teams will look to split each day in half, allowing its drivers to run on all three days, while others are giving its drivers one full day each.

Bahrain F1 pre-season testing – Team by team

  Friday  Saturday Sunday
Mercedes

Finland Valtteri Bottas (AM)

United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton (PM)

United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton (AM)
Finland Valtteri Bottas (PM)

TBC

Red Bull Netherlands Max Verstappen Mexico Sergio Perez Mexico Sergio Perez (AM)
Netherlands Max Verstappen (PM)
McLaren

Australia Daniel Ricciardo (AM)
United Kingdom Lando Norris (PM)

Australia Daniel Ricciardo (AM)
United Kingdom Lando Norris (PM)

United Kingdom Lando Norris (AM)
Australia Daniel Ricciardo (PM)

Aston Martin

Germany Sebastian Vettel (AM)

Canada Lance Stroll (PM)

Germany Sebastian Vettel (AM)

Canada Lance Stroll (PM)

Canada Lance Stroll (AM)

Germany Sebastian Vettel (PM)

Alpine France Esteban Ocon Spain Fernando Alonso

France Esteban Ocon (AM)

Spain Fernando Alonso (PM)

Ferrari

Monaco Charles Leclerc (AM)

Spain Carlos Sainz (PM)

Spain Carlos Sainz (AM)

Monaco Charles Leclerc (PM)

TBC

AlphaTauri

France Pierre Gasly (AM)

Japan Yuki Tsunoda (PM)

Japan Yuki Tsunoda (AM)

France Pierre Gasly (PM)

France Pierre Gasly (AM)

Japan Yuki Tsunoda (PM)

Alfa Romeo

Finland Kimi Raikkonen (AM)

Italy Antonio Giovinazzi (PM)

Italy Antonio Giovinazzi

Finland Kimi Raikkonen

Haas

Germany Mick Schumacher (AM)

Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin (PM)

Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin (AM)
Germany Mick Schumacher (PM)

Germany Mick Schumacher (AM)

Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin (PM)

Williams

Israel Roy Nissany

Canada Nicholas Latifi United Kingdom George Russell

When are the testing sessions?

Testing last year took place over six days in Barcelona, but the freeze in the regulations due to the COVID-19 pandemic prompted F1 to cut back to three days for 2021. It means there is a more limited window to get up to speed, resolve any issues that may arise and gauge the quality of the competition.

Each day will be split into early and late sessions in Bahrain, taking place from 10:00 to 14:00 and 15:00 to 19:00 local time respectively.

It maintains the typical eight hours of on-track running that teams got per day when testing took place in Barcelona.

A new element for testing will be that it finishes after sunset, which takes place in Bahrain around 17:45 each day currently. The track is fitted with floodlights used for the grand prix, ensuring conditions will still be usable for teams and drivers.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF1000 with aero sensors

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF1000 with aero sensors

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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