Perez disagrees with Alonso’s proposal for modified F1 pre-season testing format

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Fernando Alonso has expressed his frustration with the current pre-season testing format, which he deems “unfair.”

Speaking to the media, Alonso bemoaned the limited running time the current format affords teams, especially as they are having to split one car between both drivers across three days of testing.

“We have a very limited testing in Bahrain, which is—and by the way I can say it now because I’ve been thinking all winter about this—how unfair is [it] that we have one day and a half to prepare a World Championship,” the Aston Martin driver said.

Alonso believes Formula 1 could provide a more optimal system for pre-season testing with the resources at their disposal.

“There’s no other sport in the world… with all the money involved, and with all the marketing and the good things that we say about Formula 1, and being closer and closer to the fans… I cannot understand why we then go to Bahrain for four days, which could be two and two for [each of] the drivers.

“If you go to three, which is not even… which is an odd number, you cannot divide [fairly] between the drivers,” he continued.

“And I don’t know why we don’t go with two cars because we are already in Bahrain and we’re racing the following week.”

Testing will take place from February 21-23 at the Bahrain International Circuit. Bahrain will once again host the first round of the championship, with the first practice session scheduled for Thursday, February 29.

Testing time has indeed shrunk considerably over the past few years: prior to 2021, pre-season testing consisted of two sets of three testing days. As the calendar continued to expand, testing was reduced. 

2024 is set to be the longest season the sport has ever seen, with a record-breaking 24 races planned, taking the on-track action all the way into December. Formula 1 already aimed to see this record broken last year, but it ultimately didn’t pan out as China and Imola were cancelled due to outside circumstances.

This has prompted several teams to introduce rotational shifts in an effort to reduce the work and travel-related strain on their staff. Sergio Pérez has been vocal on the issue, recently calling the 2024 calendar “brutal.”

The Mexican dismissed Alonso’s idea of stretching testing to four days, arguing that the calendar is already demanding enough as it is.

“There’s no time!” Pérez said.

“We have 24 races, so I think the calendar is already brutal. There’s no time for testing.”