These Are The Best Photos From Formula One's Pre-Season Testing

Illustration for article titled These Are The Best Photos From Formula One's Pre-Season Testing
Photo: Clive Mason (Getty Images)

This weekend has seen Formula One cars hit the track for the first time in a few months. Not for a race, but for the only three days of testing these machines are going to get this year before they kick off competition. And I don’t know about you, but I’ve been craving a little bit of open-wheel action.

Advertisement

I’m not going to try to claim that we’re going to learn a lot about 2021's F1 cars through this test. I know plenty of folks are arguing that, since there aren’t many opportunities for testing this year, no one is going to be sandbagging and we’ll be more likely to see genuine pace through these sessions. I… disagree.

There have been a handful of changes ahead of this season, but not a ton. Not enough for me to think that the hierarchy of speed is going to be much changed from 2020. I cannot be convinced that an AlphaTauri will be faster than a Mercedes just because of a few aero swaps. It’s not going to happen. I’m predicting another Merc Championship sweep.

But I’m also not going to turn down a chance to look at these beautiful machines. So, here are some of the best photos from F1 testing—along with a few little recaps about how the most recent days of testing have gone.

Illustration for article titled These Are The Best Photos From Formula One's Pre-Season Testing
Photo: Peter Fox (Getty Images)
Illustration for article titled These Are The Best Photos From Formula One's Pre-Season Testing
Photo: Joe Portlock (Getty Images)
Illustration for article titled These Are The Best Photos From Formula One's Pre-Season Testing
Photo: Peter Fox (Getty Images)
Advertisement
Illustration for article titled These Are The Best Photos From Formula One's Pre-Season Testing
Photo: Mark Thompson (Getty Images)
Illustration for article titled These Are The Best Photos From Formula One's Pre-Season Testing
Photo: MAZEN MAHDI/AFP (Getty Images)
Advertisement
Illustration for article titled These Are The Best Photos From Formula One's Pre-Season Testing
Photo: Joe Portlock (Getty Images)
Illustration for article titled These Are The Best Photos From Formula One's Pre-Season Testing
Photo: Joe Portlock (Getty Images)
Advertisement
Illustration for article titled These Are The Best Photos From Formula One's Pre-Season Testing
Photo: Peter Fox (Getty Images)
Illustration for article titled These Are The Best Photos From Formula One's Pre-Season Testing
Photo: Peter Fox (Getty Images)
Advertisement
Illustration for article titled These Are The Best Photos From Formula One's Pre-Season Testing
Photo: MAZEN MAHDI/AFP (Getty Images)

Day One Times:

  1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull-Honda): 1'30.674 (139 laps)
  2. Lando Norris (McLaren-Mercedes): 1'30.889 (46 laps)
  3. Esteban Ocon (Alpine-Renault): 1'31.146 (129 laps)
  4. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin-Mercedes): 1'31.782 (46 laps)
  5. Carlos Sainz Jr. (Ferrari-Ferrari): 1'31.919 (57 laps)
  6. Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo-Ferrari): 1'31.945 (68 laps)
  7. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren-Mercedes): 1'32.203 (45 laps)
  8. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri-Honda): 1'32.231 (74 laps)
  9. Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri-Honda): 1'32.727 (37 laps)
  10. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes-Mercedes): 1'32.912 (42 laps)
  11. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari-Ferrari): 1'32.2422 (59 laps)
  12. Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo-Ferrari): 1'33.320 (63 laps)
  13. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin-Mercedes): 1'33.742 (51 laps)
  14. Roy Nissany (Williams-Mercedes): 1'34.789 (83 laps)
  15. Nikita Mazepin (Haas-Ferrari): 1'34.798 (70 laps)
  16. Mick Schumacher (Haas-Ferrari): 1'36.127 (15 laps)
  17. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes-Mercedes): 1'36.850 (6 laps)
Illustration for article titled These Are The Best Photos From Formula One's Pre-Season Testing
Photo: Joe Portlock (Getty Images)
Advertisement
Illustration for article titled These Are The Best Photos From Formula One's Pre-Season Testing
Photo: Joe Portlock (Getty Images)
Illustration for article titled These Are The Best Photos From Formula One's Pre-Season Testing
Photo: Mark Thompson (Getty Images)
Advertisement
Illustration for article titled These Are The Best Photos From Formula One's Pre-Season Testing
Photo: Joe Portlock (Getty Images)
Illustration for article titled These Are The Best Photos From Formula One's Pre-Season Testing
Photo: Clive Mason (Getty Images)
Advertisement
Illustration for article titled These Are The Best Photos From Formula One's Pre-Season Testing
Photo: Clive Mason (Getty Images)
Illustration for article titled These Are The Best Photos From Formula One's Pre-Season Testing
Photo: Mark Thompson (Getty Images)
Advertisement
Illustration for article titled These Are The Best Photos From Formula One's Pre-Season Testing
Photo: MAZEN MAHDI/AFP (Getty Images)
Illustration for article titled These Are The Best Photos From Formula One's Pre-Season Testing
Photo: Clive Mason (Getty Images)
Advertisement

Day Two Times:

  1. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes-Mercedes): 1'30.289 (58 laps)
  2. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri-Honda): 1'30.413 (87 laps)
  3. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin-Mercedes): 1'30.460 (71 laps)
  4. Lando Norris (McLaren-Mercedes): 1'30.586 (52 laps)
  5. Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo-Ferrari): 1'30.760 (125 laps)
  6. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari-Ferrari): 1'30.886 (73 laps)
  7. Nicholas Latifi (Williams-Mercedes): 1'31.672 (132 laps)
  8. Sergio Perez (Red Bull-Honda): 1'31.682 (117 laps)
  9. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren-Mercedes): 1'32.215 (52 laps)
  10. Fernando Alonso (Alpine-Renault): 1'32.339 (128 laps)
  11. Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri-Honda): 1'32.684 (57 laps)
  12. Mick Schumacher (Haas-Ferrari): 1'32.883 (88 laps)
  13. Carlos Sainz Jr. (Ferrari-Ferrari): 1'33.072 (56 laps)
  14. Nikita Mazepin (Haas-Ferrari): 1'33.101 (76 laps)
  15. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes-Mercedes): 1'33.399 (58 laps)
  16. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin-Mercedes): 1'38.849 (10 laps)
Illustration for article titled These Are The Best Photos From Formula One's Pre-Season Testing
Photo: MAZEN MAHDI/AFP (Getty Images)
Advertisement
Illustration for article titled These Are The Best Photos From Formula One's Pre-Season Testing
Photo: Peter Fox (Getty Images)
Illustration for article titled These Are The Best Photos From Formula One's Pre-Season Testing
Photo: Peter Fox (Getty Images)
Advertisement

Day Three Times:

  1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull-Honda): 1'28.960 (64 laps)
  2. Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri-Honda): 1'29.053 (91 laps)
  3. Carlos Sainz Jr. (Ferrari-Ferrari): 1'29.611 (79 laps)
  4. Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo-Ferrari): 1'29.766 (166 laps)
  5. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes-Mercedes): 1'30.025 (54 laps)
  6. George Russell (Williams-Mercedes): 1'30.117 (158 laps)
  7. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren-Mercedes): 1'30.144 (76 laps)
  8. Sergio Perez (Red Bull-Honda): 1'30.187 (49 laps)
  9. Fernando Alonso (Alpine-Renault): 1'30.318 (78 laps)
  10. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari-Ferrari): 1'30.486 (80 laps)
  11. Lando Norris (McLaren-Mercedes): 1'30.661 (56 laps)
  12. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri-Honda): 1'30.828 (76 laps)
  13. Esteban Ocon (Alpine-Renault): 1'31.310 (61 laps)
  14. Nikita Mazepin (Haas-Ferrari): 1'31.531 (67 laps)
  15. Mick Schumacker (Haas-Ferrari): 1'32.053 (78 laps)
  16. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes-Mercedes): 1'32.406 (86 laps)
  17. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin-Mercedes): 1'35.041 (56 laps)
  18. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin-Mercedes): 1'36.100 (80 laps)

Weekends at Jalopnik. Managing editor at A Girl's Guide to Cars. Lead IndyCar writer and assistant editor at Frontstretch. Novelist. Motorsport fanatic.

DISCUSSION

Kerberos824
Kerberos824

While I have no doubt that Mercedes will reign supreme, their car looked far trickier to run than I remember. It was sandy. And really windy. But there were undoubtedly some uncharacteristic instability in the Mercedes. It’s worth taking a look at the tire compound each driver used to set the lap, because the Red Bull set their best time on the C4 compound (super soft) while Hamilton’s best time was on the C5 (ultrasoft) and was a second off the pace. Who knows what they were up to - they were clearly sandbagging and testing something - but it was hard to figure out. The midfield looks tighter than ever. McLaren seemed to have figured out the Mercedes power unit quickly, and Ricciardo looks set to impress. That double diffuser (if its legal) looks like it could make a difference. Ferrari seemed to have found some pace and a few extra hp kicking around in Maranello, with Saniz looking competitive with the C4 times. Hard to get a read on Aston, since it seemed like gremlins abound. But I hope Vettel turns it around. Tsunoda looks like the real deal, and it looks like that Alpha Tauri could be knocking on midfield doors this year. Can’t wait for the opener!