Now the 2022 F1 season has finished, we take a look ahead to the 2023 F1 preseason testing & some of the key things to look out for.
When Is F1 Preseason Testing 2023?
Official preseason testing takes place in Bahrain on the 23rd – 25th of February, just over a week before the Bahrain GP takes place.
Unlike last year, where there were two official testing sessions (in Barcelona and Bahrain), there is only one testing session. This is because last year there was such a change in regulations, that the car was completely different, so teams needed more time to test their new cars.
Despite having just one preseason testing weekend, drivers will need to be as focussed as possible to ensure they need are as ready as possible as they face a record-breaking 23-race F1 season.
Can you watch the testing session?
The Bahrain pre-season testing will be televised and fans will also be in attendance over the three days.
What To Look Out For In Preseason Testing
Whilst testing doesn’t give us the full picture, it gives us an idea of which cars can be competitive for the upcoming season. It also gives new drivers a chance to bed in with their new teams, ahead of the first race weekend of 2023 in Bahrain a week later. Here are the things you need to look out for in 2023 preseason testing;
Can Mercedes Challenge Red Bull Again?
Assuming Red Bull will be at the top end of the gird again in 2023, all eyes will be on Mercedes to see if they can challenge Red Bull again after suffering in 2022.
Towards the end of the 2022 season, it finally looked like Mercedes made some big improvements with the car, especially with their 1-2 in Brazil.
Toto Wolff will be desperate for the Silver Arrows to challenge at the top again, and previous form tells us they will be.
How Will The New Drivers Adapt To Life In F1?
Like most seasons, there are a few driver changes for 2023, and this season sees three rookie drivers entering the grid:
- Nyck De Vries (Alpha Tauri)
- Oscar Piastri (McLaren)
- Logan Sargeant (Williams)
Okay, De Vires technically made his F1 debut at the Italian GP as he stepped in for Albon, but this will be his first full full-time seat in the sport. The Dutchman impressed and won points on his debut, which earned him plaudits from across the grid and media.
All eyes will be on Oscar Piastri at McLaren, after the largely publicised contract battle between McLaren and Alpine, after Alpine announced Piastri will replace Alonso’s seat for 2023, for then Piastri to remarkably deny any agreement had been in place.
The final rookie is Logan Sargeant, who replaces Latifi at Williams. The American-born driver gained enough points for his super license after finishing 6th in the final F2 race in Abu Dhabi.
How Will Drivers Adapt To Their New Teams?
Fernando Alonso & Pierre Gasly will be switching teams for 2023, and Nico Hulkenberg is back in a full-time seat after being out of the sport since 2019.
Alonso surprised many when he switched from Alpine to Aston Martin, with Alpine outperforming Aston Martin throughout 2022. Alonso’s experience will shine through in testing and there’s no doubt he will get up to speed quickly.
Alonso’s replacement, Gasly, will link up with fellow Frenchman Esteban Ocon to form a strong driver lineup for the French outfit.
Full F1 2023 Schedule
You can see the full 2023 F1 Calendar below.
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