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F1 star SLAMS pre-season testing for being 'unfair'

F1 star SLAMS pre-season testing for being 'unfair'

F1 star SLAMS pre-season testing for being 'unfair'

GPFans Staff
F1 star SLAMS pre-season testing for being 'unfair'

Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso has criticized the limited testing time allocated to teams ahead of the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

The F1 teams have had a relatively short winter break, with just three months of respite between the 2023 Abu Dhabi GP on November 26th and the upcoming 2024 Bahrain GP on March 2nd.

The pre-season testing, scheduled for February 21st to 23rd in Bahrain, serves as the final preparation before the racing season kicks off.

READ MORE: Criticism of 'BRUTAL' 2024 F1 calendar mounts as driver complains

Gerhard Berger testing for McLaren at Estoril

It means drivers will get over a day and a half of testing in their new cars under their belts before racing begins a week later in Bahrain.

The reason behind testing and racing in Bahrain is to keep costs in order and minimise travel before the first race.

As early as 2022, the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona hosted pre-season testing, with fans allowed to attend and buy paddock passes, helping them secure access to the drivers and teams.

Previously, most of the teams' pre-season testing programme was conducted in Southern Europe due to the region's excellent weather in January and February. The good weather and excellent facilities meant circuits such as Jerez in Spain and Estoril in Portugal became popular venues in the 1990s and 2000s for F1 teams to extensively test their new cars.

"We have very limited testing in Bahrain," Alonso said. "I've been thinking all winter about this, how unfair it is that we only have one day and a half to prepare [for] a world championship.

"There is no other sport in the world, with all the money involved and with all the marketing and the good things that we say about Formula 1 and being closer and closer to the fans, [where that happens].

"I cannot understand why we then go to Bahrain for four days, which could be two and two for the drivers. If you go to three, which is not even, which is an odd number, you cannot divide between the drivers.

"And I don't know why we don't go with two cars? Because we are already in Bahrain, and we race the following week."

READ MORE: Perez gives key update on Red Bull future

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Red Bull Sergio Perez Fernando Alonso Bahrain Grand Prix Circuit de Catalunya Abu Dhabi GP
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