Red Bull has marked its territory
Red Bull remains at the top of the hierarchy.
The reigning world champion team confirmed its rank during winter testing which took place a week ago here in Bahrain, making it more than ever the favorite for the inaugural grand prix of the 2023 season. time sheet, its Mexican driver Sergio Pérez is in first place, ahead of the Mercedes of Briton Lewis Hamilton (+0''359) - although equipped with softer tires and therefore potentially faster - and more than half a second behind Finn Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo).
And one Red Bull driver hiding another, it was world champion Max Verstappen who flew above the competition on the first two days.
After having covered most of Thursday's day at the wheel of the only RB19 present for these tests,
“did not run on Saturday, leaving the bucket free to Pérez.
Formula 1: the calendar of the season
Formula 1: manufacturers' classification
Formula 1: drivers classification
The truth of the tests, above all intended to perfect the final adjustments before the start of the season, is not always that of the race.
But faced with the RB19, which is visibly as efficient as its predecessor, the competition must face the facts: "
Red Bull appeared very solid during these three days
", already declared the Monegasque Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) on Saturday noon.
Announced great rival of the Austrian team this season, Ferrari, finished these tests with the 4th (Leclerc) and 5th time (Carlos Sainz), ahead of the other Mercedes, that of George Russell, 8th.
Mercedes, for its part, is satisfied to have "
rid of porpoising, a phenomenon linked to the rules put in place in 2022 which makes single-seaters bounce back, and which plagued its 2022 season. As for the French team Alpine, its Norman drivers Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon are completing the tests with the 12th and 14th times Saturday.
We all feel ready for the start of the season,
" assured Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer.
We have stuck to our schedule to ensure we are as prepared as possible for the season ahead
The Sakhir Circuit Formula1.com
The last five winners in Bahrain
2022: Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
2021: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2020: Sergio Pérez (Racing Point)
2020: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2019: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
Lewis Hamilton is the driver to have won the most times on the Sakhir circuit with five victories to his name.
And he is not likely to be joined this year since his runner-up, with four successes, is none other than Sebastian Vettel, now a young retiree in the discipline.
On the other hand, if Fernando Alonso achieved a feat at the wheel of his Aston Martin, he would come back up to the German, therefore one length behind the Briton.
The weekend program
12:30-1:30 p.m.: free practice 1 (Canal+ Sport)
4:00-5:00 p.m.: free practice 2 (Canal+ Sport)
12:30-1:30 p.m.: free practice 3 (Canal+)
4:00-5:00 p.m.: qualifying (Canal+)
4:00 p.m.: start of the Grand Prix (57 laps of 5.412 km or two hours of racing) (Canal+)