Alfa Romeo predicts "hectic" F1 pre-season testing

The reduction in running ahead of the 2021 Formula 1 season will lead to a "very hectic" pre-season test in Bahrain next month, reckons Alfa Romeo's technical chief.

Alfa Romeo predicts "hectic" F1 pre-season testing
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F1 will embark on a single three-day pre-season test at the Bahrain International Circuit from 12-14 March, giving teams limited time to get up to speed ahead of the new season.

Although there has been a large amount of carry-over from the 2020 cars for 2021, teams are nevertheless grappling with a shorter window in which to complete their typical pre-season preparations.

Speaking at the unveiling of the new Alfa Romeo C41 car earlier this week, technical director Jan Monchaux explained the challenge posed by the reduction in test running.

"It's going to be frantic," Monchaux said.

"Three days, it's quite short compared to previous seasons. The car carries over a lot of components, so theoretically the risk to have a bad surprise is reduced.

"But I expect those three days to be very hectic on the track, with all the teams trying to put maximum mileage to make sure you have reliability, but also to tick off the box with respect to the performance expectations."

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It is unclear how Alfa Romeo will divide its pre-season running between race drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi, and reserve driver Robert Kubica, all of whom drove the car across six days of testing in 2020.

The stability in the driver line-up ensures the team will not need to spend time helping a newcomer get up to speed with its systems and processes.

"I think that now the F1 is going in another direction compared to the past," said Alfa Romeo team principal Frederic Vasseur.

"The first discussion we had with less and less testing [was] that we have to be ready when you are going on track, and it means that you have experienced guys in the car.

"It makes more than sense. The line-up is working well."

Monchaux was also pleased by the switch of testing from Barcelona to Bahrain, ensuring that track temperatures and conditions will be more stable and representative of what teams can expect in the opening race two weeks later.

"A good thing will certainly be the weather, because the temperature should be a bit higher than what we are usually facing in Barcelona," Monchaux said.

"Therefore the work on the new car and the new tyres because we are also trying new tyres this season, will certainly be more representative than when it's four or five degrees in Barcelona."

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