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F1 testing: All the track action in Bahrain live on Sky Sports F1 as teams look to assert dominance

F1’s final test is live on Sky Sports F1 from this Thursday

F1 is ramping up the crucial final days of 2022 pre-season preparation from this Thursday, and Bahrain Testing should provide a much clearer picture of the pecking order – with the sport’s flagships seemingly all on the hunt. before – in front of the opening race.

In a boost for the fans, all eight hours of all three days – from Thursday morning to Saturday afternoon – are live Sky Sports F1while there will also be a each night Ted’s test notebook.

Although there has already been a three-day test at Barcelona, ​​this has been touted as a ‘shakedown’ by F1 and the teams are expected to make plenty of improvements to their brand new cars for the change of venue at Sakhir – this which is key as it is also the host of the season-opening Bahrain GP next weekend.

“Anyone who says they can see a pecking order is a little mistaken,” Sky F1’s Martin Brundle said during the opening test. There are already signs, however, that some household names are off to a good start.

As Brundle added: “Inevitably the best teams will get there first after the rule change.”

How close are F1’s ‘big four’?

    Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren all seem to be on the hunt for the front

Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren all appear to be on the hunt for the front

Much of the talk going into the season was whether the rules were refreshed and the fact that teams had to design new cars from the ground up for this season – with the aero overhaul aimed at improving overtaking – could completely upset the pecking order that we’ve been expecting in F1.

The first signs, and these are very early signs after the Barcelona test, are that Mercedes and Red Bull are in fact still strong despite their title battle in 2021. However, it also appears that Ferrari and McLaren – the teams top performers in F1 but far behind the top two last year – have narrowed the gap considerably.

“The top four seem to have maintained their level,” said Sky F1’s Damon Hill, while Karun Chandhok gave his first test verdict: “Great teams will always be great teams.

Sky F1's Ted Kravitz reflects on the final day of Formula 1's first pre-season test in Barcelona.

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Sky F1’s Ted Kravitz reflects on the final day of Formula 1’s first pre-season test in Barcelona.

Sky F1’s Ted Kravitz reflects on the final day of Formula 1’s first pre-season test in Barcelona.

“I think we’d all be pretty shocked if Red Bull and Mercedes aren’t in the lead. But I don’t think we can rule out Ferrari, and I think McLaren are also in the hunt.”

Barcelona’s final timesheets saw Mercedes and Red Bull on top thanks to a final day push, although Ferrari and McLaren led the way earlier in the week and many believe they had the better start.

The fastest laps of pre-season testing (Barcelona) by team

Team Driver Trial day Time
mercedes Lewis Hamilton day three 1:19.138
Red Bull Sergio Perez day three 1:19.556
McLaren Lando Norris Day one 1:19.568
Ferrari Charles Leclerc day two 1:19.689
Aston Martin Sebastian Vettel day three 1:19.824
Alpha Tauri Pierre Gasly day two 1:19.918
williams Alex Albon day three 1:20.318
Alpine Fernando Alonso day three 1:21.242
Haas Nikita Mazepin day two 1:21.512
Alfa Romeo Guanyu-Zhou day two 1:21.885

Sky F1’s Anthony Davidson continued: “Red Bull and Mercedes battled it out until the last round of the championship last year and a lot of resources, a lot of energy went into that.

“It allowed Ferrari and McLaren to not have to worry about those kinds of things and put more resources, more time into a whole new car, so I think that helped them.

As the new season fast approaches, relive some of the most intense fights on track between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen from last year.

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As the new season fast approaches, relive some of the most intense fights on track between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen from last year.

As the new season fast approaches, relive some of the most intense fights on track between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen from last year.

“But that doesn’t seem to hurt Red Bull or Mercedes either, it seems they still have a very good package.”

David Croft said of Ferrari: “I had a sly suspicion that Ferrari would raise eyebrows among the engineers at Red Bull and Ferrari, and I think they did.” While Johnny Herbert noted of McLaren: “From the outset he had fast lap times, and I think as a base that was quite telling”.

So yes it does to see like Ferrari and McLaren are closer to forward than midfield, but keep your eyes peeled for what the front two – and in particular the eight-time defending champions – bring to Bahrain.

“Mercedes looked like the least adventurous car of the lot in Barcelona, ​​but let’s see what they do in Bahrain,” Hill said.

Martin Brundle says the new regulations should improve racing as Formula 1 enters a new era.

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Martin Brundle says the new regulations should improve racing as Formula 1 enters a new era.

Martin Brundle says the new regulations should improve racing as Formula 1 enters a new era.

Does Mercedes have a trick up its sleeve for Bahrain?

As this is the final test as well as the venue for the opening race in just over a week, teams should bring more advanced packages to Bahrain this week, which should give us a better idea of ​​who leading the way.

And there are rumors floating around that Mercedes could make a significant upgrade in the desert, maybe even one that gives them around an extra second per lap.

That sounds worrying, although rival teams can also bring a lot more performance.

Damon Hill says the new Formula 1 regulations should allow cars to race much closer to each other and therefore produce more exciting races.

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Damon Hill says the new Formula 1 regulations should allow cars to race much closer to each other and therefore produce more exciting races.

Damon Hill says the new Formula 1 regulations should allow cars to race much closer to each other and therefore produce more exciting races.

“I think they are playing games to some degree,” said Sky F1’s Paul Di Resta. “I think Red Bull and Mercedes, what you see and what you hear, save a lot until the end.”

Ferrari and McLaren have hinted they will focus more on optimizing their current setups, but it would still be surprising if they didn’t see any noticeable improvements.

“I think both visually and performance-wise the cars will be very different in Bahrain,” Davidson said.

“You can also see the pecking order change just from the circuit. I’m sure for the test we’ll see different iterations of the cars.”

With the first race of the season on the horizon on March 20, the next three days are crucial – and you can follow all the action with Sky Sports F1.

Watch live testing on Sky Sports F1

You can watch the second and final pre-season test all live on Sky Sports F1 from Thursday as Formula 1 2022 heats up with three days of action in Bahrain.

With coverage starting in the early morning of March 10 and continuing until Saturday, Sky F1 will be the ideal place to watch all eight hours of live track action each day – plus a test notebook from Ted every evenings.

Sky F1’s Martin Brundle, David Croft, Ted Kravitz, Anthony Davidson Rachel Brookes and new arrival Naomi Schiff will be in Bahrain to help tell the story of every day’s track and all the big stories from pre-season.

Former W-Series driver and diversity and inclusion ambassador Naomi Schiff joins the Sky F1 team, co-presenting the new show

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Former W-Series driver and Diversity and Inclusion Ambassador Naomi Schiff joins the Sky F1 team, co-presenting new show ‘Any Driven Monday’.

Former W-Series driver and Diversity and Inclusion Ambassador Naomi Schiff joins the Sky F1 team, co-presenting new show ‘Any Driven Monday’.

As well as the Sky F1 channel, subscribers can also watch the action live on their mobile by logging in with their Sky iD on the Sky Sports app.

The Sky Sports website and app will be the venue for the live digital blog with updates, timesheets and free video clips of key incidents and interviews, while there will also be updates up to date on Sky Sports News.

You can also follow the latest updates via the Sky F1 social channels.

Thursday March 10
6h50-11h05: Morning session of the first day live!*
11:50 a.m.-4:10 p.m.: Day 1 Afternoon Session Live!*
7 p.m.: Ted’s test diary – Day 1

Friday March 11
6:50 a.m.-11:05 a.m.: Morning session of the second day live!*
11:50 a.m.-4:10 p.m.: Afternoon session of the second day live!
7 p.m.: Ted’s test diary – Day 2

Saturday March 12
6:50-11:05 a.m.: Day 3 morning session LIVE!*
11:50 a.m.-4:10 p.m.: Afternoon session of the third day live!
7 p.m.: Ted’s test diary – Day 3

*simulcast on Sky Sports Main Event