Formula 1

F1 pre-season ranked – who performed best in Bahrain?

In a flash, Formula 1 pre-season testing at the Bahrain International Circuit began and ended after three days filled with intrigue and mysticism.

As ever with any test, it posed numerous questions regarding fuel loads and whether the teams were running at full power or a qualifying simulation? The permutations for run plans are endless.

Whilst you cannot read too much into the timesheets, there were definitely indicators as to which team had a good test and who was scratching their heads in bafflement.

Here, GPFans Global ranks the teams in order of who had the most comfortable three days of running, and who still has plenty of work to do before the first race at the same circuit later this month.

10. Aston Martin

It was not the start to its return to F1 that Aston Martin wanted. Technical issues took hold, limiting Sebastian Vettel, in particular, to just 117 laps across his 12 hours in the AMR21.

Team-mate Lance Stroll did show some signs of pace with a lap on the softest compound of tyre, but in reality, it looks as though any developments by the team has taken the car a step backwards from last year.

No doubt the pace of AlphaTauri, the improvement to the Ferrari power unit and the efficiency of Alpine’s test programme has given Aston Martin plenty to ponder over the next fortnight.

It was far from a perfect weekend, but the world championship-winning team should not be in panic stations just yet.

A gearshift problem on Friday that confined Valtteri Bottas to the garage for over three hours combined with two spins from Lewis Hamilton severely compromised the team that completed the fewest laps of any across the three days.

Most notably, the minor regulation changes for the season appear to have affected Mercedes more than most. The W11 was one of the most stable cars on the grid but this is far from the case with the W12 and its twitchy rear end.

The early issue experienced by Haas on Friday must have caused concern given the weekend was only ever going to be about giving both rookies mileage in a car that is effectively the same as last season’s contender.

The team registered the fourth-highest lap count of the test, but all involved will be resigned to the fact Haas will probably finish last in this season’s standings.

It seemed a strange decision to give Roy Nissany a run out on Friday given there were only three days of running, but the Israeli test driver did a solid job across his eight hours of track time, and in the worst conditions when a sandstorm hit.

When Nicholas Latifi and George Russell took to the track, the laps rolled in with no recognisable issues to report. There is definitely a sign of progress at Williams, but how much remains to be seen.

6. Alpine

On his return to F1 after two years away, Fernando Alonso was robotic with his performance, proving he is quick and consistent in whatever car he jumps into. Esteban Ocon also impressed during his time in the A521.

But there was nothing that jumped out to suggest there are any advances in performance compared to the Renault of last season and with others around them making gains, the test may have caused a few ripples of concern.

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