Mark Hughes: What the long-distance test says about F1 2023 – Race

We’re still a few days away from knowing for sure, but the three-day Formula 1 test in Bahrain has given us something to work with in trying to understand the competitive structure between the teams.

Variations in track temperature, tire compound and fuel potential paint a vivid picture. We know the compound and temperature for each speed but not the weight of the fuel. But if we at least compare the simulation of a race, where the teams make three rounds, changing the tire compound at each stop before immediately rejoining, using all three compounds, then we can build a a type of photography that is more sophisticated than just photography. headline times.

The races that we have identified as possible race performances are as follows:

starting Length 1 Length 2 Length 3
Red Bull 8:46 am 12 go to C3 Article 15 C2 Article 21 C1
Alfa Romeo 2:55 p.m Article 15 C2 Price C18
Alpha Toughness 8 in the morning 15 step C3 Price C18 13 follow C3
Williams 1:45 p.m 17 coming C3 Price C18 Article 16 C2
Ferrari 2:45 p.m 11 comes C3 Price C16
starting Length 1 Length 2 Length 3
Ferrari 2:47 p.m 14 comes C3 12 go to C1
Mercedes 8:58 am 11 comes C3 Article 17 C2 13 step C1
Alfa Romeo 8:28 am Price C17 13 step C2 10 C3*
Especially 1:15 p.m 14 comes C3 Article 11 C2 Price C15
Alpha Toughness 8:21 am Article 15 C2 Price C18 11 comes C3
Williams 1:50 p.m 16 comes C3 Price C15
Especially 1:15 p.m 14 comes C3 Article 11 C2 Price C15

* Alpha run is incomplete due to PU issue

In addition to those runs, there were a few runs from McLaren (two consecutive 10-lap stints on C3 and C2 on Friday) and Alpine (16 laps on C3 on Friday and 14 runs on C1 ). on Saturday). Aston Martin also appeared to be doing a racing sim on Friday.

Taking each day separately, we get the following picture of average lap times for each period:

Length 1 Length 2 Length 3
C1 C2 C3 C1 C2 C3 C1 C2 C3
Red Bull 1 m38.3s 1m38.5s 1m37.8s
Ferrari 1m39.3s 1m37.9s
Aston Martin 1m39.3s
McLaren 1m39.9s 1 m38.1s
Alfa Romeo 1m40.2s 1m39.9s 1 m38.1s
Alpine 1m37.9s
Alpha Toughness 1m40.5s 1m39.2s 1m38.6s
Williams 1m41.1s 1m39.3s 1 m38.8s
Length 1 Length 2 Length 3
C1 C2 C3 C1 C2 C3 C1 C2 C3
Ferrari 1m38.7s 1m37.4s
Aston Martin 1m40.0s 1m39.5s 1 m38.3s
Mercedes 1m40.2s 1m39.2s 1m37.8s
Especially 1m41.1s 1m39.6s 1m38.7s
Alfa Romeo 1m39.7s 1m39.0s 1m37.3s*
Williams 1m39.6s 1m38.4s
Alpha Toughness 1m41.3s 1m40.0s 1m39.1s
Alpine 1m39.4s**

* Alpha run is incomplete due to PU issue
** Single Alpine run, of unknown cast

These numbers should be treated with caution because of the different times of the day that the runs were made. Those who practice on both days either improve significantly or the track is better on Saturday than on Friday. Anyway, with Red Bull not racing on Saturday it leaves us without a good measure of Saturday. But leaving the gap between Red Bull and Ferrari on Friday and extrapolating it to Saturday, we get a useful schedule like this:

1st – Red Bull

2nd= Ferrari/Aston Martin (+0.2s to Red Bull)

4 by = Mercedes/Alpine (+0.6 to Red Bull)

6 = Haas/Alfa/McLaren (+1.05s to Red Bull)

9- Williams (+1.25s to Red Bull)

10- Alpha Toughness (+1.45s to Red Bull)

Although the Ferrari (on the single C1 tire) was only 0.1s off Red Bull’s average on Friday, it was a slower 0.8s in the two simulations – more than Pirelli would put as the difference between the C2 tires Red Bull and Ferrari’s C3. So the difference of 0.2s we put between the two cars is based on that.

But Saturday’s Run gave us a good read on the comparison between Ferrari, Aston Martin and Mercedes and they were very fair.

Alpine is a real dark horse and we put him on the basis of his only two long runs per day that were not done in the racing series. So we have to think about what level of race they represent. Similarly, McLaren’s run was so limited that it was difficult to judge what was going on for 10 hours on Friday. In the past, Williams were slower than AlphaTauri on Friday but they seem to have a better day on Saturday to jump ahead.

There is great scope for differences in the interpretation of the data, as most of them are not directly comparable. But this represents a best guess until the cars start running together and it all becomes real later this week.

Thank you for your opinion!

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