Five things we learned from the first F1 test of 2022 

Formula 1’s opening pre-season test at Barcelona provided the first proper on-track running ahead of the 2022 season, even if F1 wanted to refer to it as a ‘shakedown’. 
Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Ferrari F1-75.
Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Ferrari F1-75.

The 10 teams and 20 drivers took part in three days of testing around the Spanish Grand Prix venue last week to try out their all-new car designs and get in those all-important miles ahead of the new campaign. 

There was huge intrigue surrounding the event given it was the first time F1’s new generation of cars had run collectively on track, and there were some fascinating storylines to emerge. 

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It may have looked like 'business as usual’ as Mercedes ended the test with a 1-2 ahead of 2021 rival Red Bull, but lap times from pre-season can be hugely misleading and should always be taken with a pinch of salt. 

As Lewis Hamilton stressed, it is almost impossible to get a read on the competitive order after the first week of running. 

“No, you never do on the first week,” said the seven-time world champion. “We have no idea where everyone is.”

Nevertheless, there was still plenty to glean across three days of running in Spain as teams racked up the mileage and encountered the usual winter testing gremlins. 

At this very early stage, there are some hints at who is looking strong and which teams still have some work to do. All will become clearer after next week’s second three-day test in Bahrain, ahead of the season-opener on March 20.

Check out our latest video to find out the things we did learn from the opening test of 2022.

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