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Red Bull lead the way as reliability concerns arise - How F1 teams fared in testing

Red Bull lead the way as reliability concerns arise - How F1 teams fared in testing

Red Bull lead the way as reliability concerns arise - How F1 teams fared in testing

Red Bull lead the way as reliability concerns arise - How F1 teams fared in testing

The Bahrain Grand Prix kickstarts the new era of F1 this weekend with teams having only six days of running under their belts.

The new generation of cars have proven a handful for teams with balance issues and reliability problems leaving plenty of work to do up and down the grid.

Ahead of the new season, we take a look at how each team fared in the two tests in Barcelona and Bahrain so you are fully up to speed in preparation for round one.

Mercedes

No major concerns for Mercedes with the team able to top the Barcelona test, before struggling a bit more for balance in Bahrain last week.

Reliability looks promising given the power unit issues in the latter stages of 2021, although it is expected the power will be turned up for the first grand prix this weekend.

The understeer issues seemed to hit George Russell harder than Lewis Hamilton, especially in turns nine and 10 in Bahrain so the team will be picking through the collected data to find set-up fixes this week.

Never rule the Silver Arrows out, even though the W13 is likely the third fastest at this moment in time.

Red Bull

A comfortable two tests for Red Bull with only one reliability concern in Barcelona that was swiftly dealt with.

Plenty of mileage was accumulated with lap times often looking strong, before Max Verstappen threw the gauntlet down on the final day in Bahrain to finish a second faster than the field.

The late showing has pushed Red Bull into the position of favourite, dispelling worries of a 2021 championship battle hangover.

Ferrari

Perhaps the most impressive pre-season relative to previous form, the Scuderia combined pace with mileage to clearly state its intentions to return to winning ways.

Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc both looked at ease with the F1-75, although porpoising was prominent for the car.

There was little to worry the team in terms of reliability, with the confidence within the squad clear to see when gearing up for a full-race rehearsal on the morning of day two in Bahrain.

Expect Ferrari to push Red Bull close in the early stages of the year.

McLaren

If Barcelona was promising for McLaren as it aimed to build upon its race-winning prowess of 2021, Bahrain was a bump in the road.

Pace still looks good but concerns over lasting a race distance in competitive fashion have arisen given the plethora of brake issues experienced in the second test.

Whatsmore, Daniel Ricciardo will be undercooked having missed the test with Covid-19, whilst any replacement for the Australian should he not be fit to race would be completely unfamiliar with the McLaren.

There were enough signs to show promise for the season, but patience through the first few rounds will be key.

Alpine

Nothing spectacular from the Blue and Pink outfit [Pink and blue in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia].

Good mileage and decent pace were offset with a few small issues and a test ending fire in Barcelona.

If Alpine can get on top of the reliability and continue the consistent pace it has shown, podiums should follow during the season, especially with such a strong driver line-up in Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon.

The big question for the team that has underperformed since rejoining as a manufacturer as Renault in 2016 is whether it can keep up with the bigger teams when developments through the season begin to dictate the pecking order.

AlphaTauri

Not much was given away in Bahrain by AlphaTauri, with the team enjoying a largely smooth testing schedule ahead of the new season.

The only major drama was a crash in Barcelona for Pierre Gasly, with good mileage racked-up between the Frenchman and Yuki Tsunoda thereafter.

But with nothing better than a one minute, 33secs lap time in Bahrain last week, it is hard to believe the AT03 has reached anything near its full potential as of yet.

Aston Martin

In much the same way as AlphaTauri, there were no headline runs from Aston Martin.

Where the Silverstone-based team does differ is delays to its running schedule as small gremlins hit.

The problems were nothing too alarming for Aston Martin so only small tweaks should suit Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll well. The first indication of pace will come in practice on Friday.

Williams

Pace-wise, Williams is, unfortunately, looking like the slowest team after testing despite launching one of the better, more aggressive-looking cars in the FW44.

Mileage wasn't exceptional across the two tests, hampered majorly by a dramatic fire for Nicholas Latifi after just 12 laps on day two in Bahrain.

With the progress made last year to get back into the points, however, there is no need to panic just yet with the team proving it can catch up to the competition.

Alfa Romeo

Valtteri Bottas may have put a smile on some faces at Alfa Romeo with a strong lap time at the end of testing but the real concerns for the Hinwil-based team will be whether it is able to complete a race distance.

Despite completing plenty of laps in Bahrain, the runs were spread out across numerous runs due to mechanical gremlins and damage caused by porpoising.

Rookie Guanyu Zhou did get laps under his belt so should be suitably prepared for race one but again, fears of reliability issues will linger all the way through the week.

Haas

Kevin Magnussen's return to the team was a welcome lift to the team after a difficult first test fraught with gremlins that limited running.

Freight delays made things even more difficult for Haas with extra hours added on days two and three in Bahrain to make up for the lost time.

Magnussen finished day two on top with Mick Schumacher second-fastest in the test overall.

Of course, the pace isn't a true reflection of the pace for Haas, but there is plenty to suggest the team will be back fighting for points on occasion this season.

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