F1 pre-season testing: What is the pre-season test, what are the rules for it?
The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has made way for Bahrain, as the F1 pre-season testing kicks off. The weather is bound to be an issue, with temperatures soaring. Nevertheless, the teams are committed to test the new Pirelli tyres, and give quality feedback to their engineers.
— Formula 1 (@F1) March 12, 2021
What is F1 pre-season testing?
First of all, it is not the same as qualifying in Formula 1. The teams are not required to set fastest laps, instead the focus is on collecting as much data from the car, tyres and track as possible. The cars are news, the tyres are new as well, and the track is the same as the season-opener next weekend.
The data is collected using a multitude of sensors and devices such as aero rakes and flow-vis paint. The teams and drivers learn about their new cars and give feedback regarding its handling and performance. It must be noted, though, that the regulations have remained the same from last season due to the impact of Covid-19. The drastic new regs will instead come into play from 2022 now.
What are the rules of F1 pre-season testing?
The three days of testing will see teams dividing carefully, as only one driver can test at one time. This should ideally mean more testing for the new drivers, as the older one has considerable experience driving it last season.
Williams, on their part, is giving one day to their test driver Roy Nissany. The good part is, there is no restriction on the number of laps, except for red flags and breakdown.