Russell: “Three days with two cars would be a good place to be”, has oncerns over lack of F1 testing

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By Luke-John Buckle

Pre-season testing has been halved to just three days at Bahrain’s Bahrain International Circuit after teams utilised six days of testing in 2022.

Just three days of testing means each driver will only get one and a half days of driving before the season opener at the same venue on the 5th of March. An amount Mercedes driver Russell feels isn’t enough.

“Personally speaking, I don’t think three days is enough, because you have got to remember from a driver’s perspective, that is one and a half days per driver,” said the Brit during Mercedes’ launch.

“We were fortunate to do the [Silverstone filming days] last week, but had we not, that would have been getting on for 12 weeks out of the car from Abu Dhabi to Bahrain.

“Could you imagine Rafael Nadal spending 12 weeks without hitting a ball and then going straight into the French Open with one and a half days of training? You know, it just wouldn’t ever happen.

Testing has been reduced to save money and lessen the workload on the teams, but Russell suggested the 10 outfits could use two cars and keep the three-day, single event format.

“I understand and recognise why we do that. I think three days with two cars would probably be a good place to be,” he argued.

“And I think that would probably be the best compromise for all of the reasons why we’re trying to limit it but right now one and a half days per driver I think is too few.”

Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso, who is switching from Alpine to Aston Martin for 2023, agreed with Russell and said that the lack of testing could have a negative impact on drivers changing teams compared to their team-mates.

“This year we have only one day and a half testing in Bahrain, so I am aware that I will not be 100% in Bahrain, not in Jeddah, maybe not in Australia. So that’s a little bit unfair, maybe,” Alonso said.

“I think that is the only sport in the world that you do one day and a half a practice and then you play a world championship. There is no other sport in the world [that does that].”