Formula 1

Fernando Alonso Impresses on the First Day of Bahrain Testing

2 Mins read
Credit: Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team

The 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season is moving ever closer and all ten teams hit the track on Thursday on the first day of F1 testing at the Bahrain International Circuit. The drivers got behind the wheel of their new cars for the first time, with teams gathering crucial data and information from many different tests ahead of the season opener in less than two weeks.

Fernando Alonso completed a headline move to Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team during the 2022 season rocking the paddock with the two-time world champion expected to sign a year extension at BWT Alpine F1 Team. The retirement of Sebastian Vettel caused a domino effect that saw Alonso complete his move amongst a number of others. Alonso also made the headlines on the first day of pre-season testing with the Spaniard finishing the day in second behind Max Verstappen.

“Overall I am pleased with the first official day of testing here in Bahrain in the AMR23. As a team, we reached 100 laps in total, which is a strong start for the first day despite some minor issues that we resolved.”

Alonso has kept grounded though, with many teams still yet to unlock the full potential of their cars.

“We are still experimenting with lots of different things, so every lap we do is important and we learn something new about the car every time we go out. These first steps are always intriguing and so far I am enjoying this part of the winter preparation. We will use the information and learning from today to optimise things further tomorrow.”

Felipe Drugovich – “I got up to speed quickly”

Felipe Drugovich took his first F1 pre-season test on Thursday morning in place of Lance Stroll, who has had to miss the test after a cycling injury. Drugovich won the FIA Formula 2 title last season and while he may not have been expecting to be involved this early as Aston Martin’s reserve, he stood up to the challenge well.

“Driving the AMR23 for the first time today was great; I really enjoyed it. I spent a few laps at the beginning of the day familiarising myself with being back behind the wheel, but I felt like I got up to speed quickly and before long I was back in a good rhythm.

The young Brazillian completed forty laps in his first session and managed to end the day in fourteenth position, but was understandably unable to match the pace of Alonso.

Despite a small electronics issue, we completed our run plan and gathered some valuable data for the team. I did quite a lot of aerodynamic testing, which is incredibly important with a new car, but I also got to do a few push laps towards the end of the session, which was great fun. Finally, I want to wish Lance a quick recovery and also thank the team for trusting me with this opportunity.”

Credit: Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team
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