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Russell: I don’t think three days F1 testing is enough

Russell: I don’t think three days of F1 testing is enough

Russell: I don’t think three days F1 testing is enough
George Russell lamented the fact that testing in Formula 1 is now a rare delicacy, insisting this year’s three-day test in Bahrain ahead of the season opener at the same venue is not enough.

Long gone are the days of limitless F1 testing, when the great Michael Schumacher will spend days from daybreak till sunset pounding around the Ferrari private track at Fiorano testing updates, tyres and what have you.

With the aim of cutting costs along with F1’s sustainability drive, testing days have been reduced dramatically, and while in 2022 the teams had a “pre-test” session in Barcelona before the actual test in Bahrain, this year they all head to the desert venue to test their 2023 racing machine for a solitary session between February 23 and 25.

George Russell, Grand Prix Drivers’ Association Director, insists that is not enough; he stated: “Personally speaking, I don’t think three days is enough.

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“You’ve got to remember, from a driver’s perspective, that is one and a half days per driver,” he highlighted.

“We were fortunate to do the test last week but had we not, that would have been getting on for 12 weeks out of the car from Abu Dhabi (the final race of last season) to Bahrain,” the Briton added, referring to a tyre test in the 2022 Mercedes W13.

Russell not alone in his opinion

“Could you imagine Rafa 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.”

Russell went on suggesting a solution that would be a decent compromise; he said: “I understand and recognize why we do that.

“I think three days with two cars would be a good place to be, and that would probably be the best compromise for all of the reasons why they’re trying to limit it,” he suggested, insisting: “Right now, one and a half days per driver is too few.”

Russell is not alone in his opinion about limited testing, as Fernando Alonso, a veteran of the sport who was around in the golden days of testing concurs with the young Mercedes driver.

Alonso admitted he would need a few races to become 100% up to speed in his new for 2023 AMR23, and said at its launch when asked about the testing: “That’s a little bit unfair.

“This is the only sport in the world where you do a day and a half of practice, and then you play a world championship,” the Spaniard added.

Russell was the first Mercedes driver to take the newly launched 2023 Mercedes F1 car for a spin at Silverstone shortly after the striking Black W14 was revealed to the world.