WATCH: What we learned from the first day of pre-season testing in Bahrain
After a busy winter of preparations, the F1 grid reconvened at the Bahrain International Circuit for pre-season testing, with Day 1 of running giving us some initial answers to a plethora of questions…
Having romped to both world titles in 2022, Max Verstappen and Red Bull continued where they left off by topping the morning and afternoon sessions in the Sakhir desert – the Dutchman hailing a “smooth” start for the RB19.
ANALYSIS: What did the opening day of 2023 testing imply about the pace of Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes?
But he was closely followed by new Aston Martin signing Fernando Alonso, who raised eyebrows with a lap just 0.029s slower than Verstappen, as Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes also featured towards the top of the times.
Meanwhile, F1’s three new rookies – McLaren’s Oscar Piastri, AlphaTauri’s Nyck de Vries and Williams’ Logan Sargeant – were in action, adding another layer to proceedings as they get to grips with the top echelon.
Join F1 TV’s Laura Winter, Will Buxton and Jolyon Palmer in the video player above to look back on the first test day, hear from several drivers and preview what’s to come over the remainder of the pre-season.