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DATA POINTS: What we learned from Friday practice in Bahrain

F1 Correspondent & Presenter

Lawrence Barretto
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Aston Martin Bahrain

As the sun set and the floodlights flickered on at the Bahrain International Circuit, the scene was set for the first representative practice session of 2023 – and it delivered a flurry of surprises that whet the appetite for the campaign ahead. Aston Martin were surprise timesheet leaders with Fernando Alonso – but a dig into the data suggests another team are favourites…

Aston Martin deliver on testing promise

Aston Martin’s pace during pre-season testing caught everyone’s attention, double world champion Alonso effortlessly settling into his new surroundings and quickly stretching the legs of an AMR23 that looked every bit a disrupter to the status quo.

The Spaniard delivered a beautiful lap on the soft tyres during the qualifying simulations to end the session top of the pile, 0.16s clear of the chasing Red Bull’s but he was not getting carried away by the lofty position. When asked if he’d be disappointed if he doesn’t take pole position on Saturday, he replied: “No, no, no – not at all. I’m not thinking that high.”

READ MORE: Alonso not targeting Bahrain GP pole position despite table-topping FP2 performance

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