Fernando Alonso hits out at ‘unfair’ F1 pre-season testing limits

Fernando Alonso has branded F1 pre-season testing limits "unfair".

Fernando Alonso shaking down Aston Martin's new F1 car
Fernando Alonso shaking down Aston Martin's new F1 car

Fernando Alonso has criticised the current pre-season testing format, saying it is “unfair” on F1 drivers.

Pre-season testing gets underway in Bahrain on Wednesday, the first of three days of running before the 2024 campaign gets underway on March 2.

Having previously been carried out across two four-day tests, the pre-season testing format has been slimmed down in recent years.

Now a single three-day test in Bahrain, drivers get roughly one and a half days of running in their new cars, with teams only able to field one car per day.

Alonso feels the current system does not give drivers enough time to prepare for the new season and should be changed.

The two-time world champion sees no reason why each team should not be allowed to run both of their cars and drivers simultaneously.

"We have very limited testing in Bahrain," Alonso said. "I've been thinking all winter about this, how unfair it is that we only have one day and a half to prepare a world championship.

"There is 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, [where that happens].

"I cannot understand why we then go to Bahrain for four days, which could be two and two for the drivers. If you go to three, which is not even, which is an odd number, you cannot divide between the drivers.

"And I don't know why we don't go with two cars? Because we are already in Bahrain and we race the following week.”

Mercedes driver and GPDA director George Russell echoed Alonso’s comments, saying last year: "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.

"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? It just wouldn't ever happen.

"I understand and recognise why we do that. I think three days with two cars would probably be a good place to be."

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