F1: Pre Season Testing Day 3 Recap

February 23, 2024Ramon Jones
Formula 1

Ferrari displayed significant performance gains from their 2023 campaign after topping the tables in the pre season test. The Ferraris always seemed to have the pace last year, but questionable strategy calls and misfortune plagued their 2023 season. It’s clear that the Ferrari camp is looking to put those woes behind and be the team that brings it to the Red Bulls who have shown no signs of slowing down.

Ferrari Top the Table on Day 2 and 3 of Testing

After Carlos Sainz topped day 2 of testing, Charles Leclerc stepped up to the top on day 3 for Ferrari. Leclcerc said, “Still difficult to known where we are. Gone through our program, no major issues. Good thing is no major surprises. Everything we expected we got, so that is good. Helps the guys to develop the car, everything seems to make sense.

How competitive we are, it’s difficult to understand. My feeling is that Red Bull are ahead. We have a stronger base compared to last year. Last year, it was difficult to understand which direction to develop. Very different story this year, know where we need to improve, gives us more hope.”

An analysis done by F1.com estimates the race pace of the grid as follows :

1. Red Bull
2. Mercedes +0.20s
3. Ferrari +0.22s
4. McLaren +0.43s
5. Aston Martin +0.62s
6. RB +0.73s
7. Sauber +1.09s
8. Alpine +1.09s
9. Williams + 1.25
10. Haas +1.49s

McLaren Beats Out Aston Martin

Aston Martin and McLaren find themselves in an ongoing shootout for the “best top 4” title that seems to house every championship worthy team every year. Both Aston Martin and McLaren had triumphs and defeats in 2023. However, after the short winter break it seems McLaren have found an edge. Lando Norris even hinted at the direction the team is thinking about. McLaren wants to be fighting with Mercedes and Red Bull. “A few setbacks over last few days,” Norris said. Not the end of world but always want a perfect day, we didn’t get any long running yesterday so moved it to this morning but we didn’t get it done. Not what we wanted but still a lot learned.

We’ve taken a step forward, made a lot of things better, but we never really know compared to others. We’re in a good position, had a decent car at end of last season, taken step in right direction. We’re still a long way behind Red Bull and Ferrari. Plenty of work still to achieve, but plenty learned in last few days.”

Haas Still Has No Answers

After three days of testing the F1.com analysis puts them just under 1.5 seconds behind the Red Bulls. Over the course of a race that time differential could reach numbers of laps. The team however, felt the test was positive.

Ayao Komatsu – Team Principal:

“So today we completed our first qualifying sim, looking at the low-fuel car balance, and then we completed two race simulations – one with Kevin, one with Nico. We successfully achieved all of this, despite the track issues today. It’s been a very, very good day basically. Our race simulations show that yes, we’ve got lots more work to do, but at the same time we’ve got a base car that we can actually race. Considering the qualifying performance – we haven’t worked on it at all, today was our first time looking at it, but again, it was decent. We’ve had a very good start to the season with all this preparation in testing. I’m very happy and my thanks to everyone on the team.”

Full Day 3 of F1 Pre Season Testing Results

1Charles LeclercMONScuderia Ferrari1m30.322s74
2George RussellGBRMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1m30.368s67
3Zhou GuanyuCHNStake F1 Team Kick Sauber1m30.647s85
4Max VerstappenNEDOracle Red Bull Racing1m30.755s66
5Yuki TsunodaJPNVisa Cash App RB F1 Team1m30.775s53
6Alex AlbonTHAWilliams Racing1m30.984s121
7Oscar PiastriAUSMcLaren F1 Team1m31.030s91
8Fernando AlonsoESPAston Martin Aramco F1 Team1m31.159s75
9Carlos SainzESPScuderia Ferrari1m31.247s71
10Sergio PerezMEXOracle Red Bull Racing1m31.483s53
11Nico HulkenbergGERMoneyGram Haas F1 Team1m31.686s89
12Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1m31.999s49
13Lance StrollCANAston Martin Aramco F1 Team1m32.038s46
14Lando NorrisGBRMcLaren F1 Team1m32.108s20
15Pierre GaslyFRABWT Alpine F1 Team1m32.149ss47
16Kevin MagnussenDENMoneyGram Haas F1 Team1m33.053s80
17Esteban OconFRABWT Alpine F1 Team1m33.079s55
18Valtteri BottasFINStake F1 Team Kick Sauber1m33.528s28
19Daniel RicciardoAUSVisa Cash App RB F1 Team1m37.015s70

19 drivers participated in the final day of testing. Logan Sargeant was the only drive who did not set a lap time on day 3.