Formula 1

Honda Take On Day 2 Of F1 Testing

The second day of pre-season testing in Bahrain saw the Honda-powered teams continue their positive momentum, with Pierre second fastest while Sergio made his Red Bull Racing debut.

Honda Take On Day 2 Of F1 Testing

After the sandstorm that make Friday so challenging, Saturday provided better track conditions but there was still a strong wind to keep the drivers on their toes. Sergio took over from Max in the Red Bull for the full day while Scuderia AlphaTauri opted to split running once again, with Yuki driving in the morning and Pierre in the afternoon.

Sergio’s day was another productive one as he was able to ensure Red Bull exceeded the 100-lap mark for the second day in a row, completing 117 laps. With a best time of 1:31.682, Sergio was eighth overall but unlike all of the drivers ahead of him he did not set a time on either of the softest two compounds.

At AlphaTauri the day started with more mileage for Yuki after an interrupted Friday, and he was able to start trying different tyre compounds to understand the differences, changing between the various options in the Pirelli range. 57 laps were possible in the morning with a best time of 1:32.684, leaving him 11th overall at the end of the day.

Pierre then took over after lunch and did some long runs as we showed more strong reliability, before the latter stages under the floodlights allowed for some soft tyre running in cooler conditions. Pierre’s best time came on the softest compound and was a 1:30.413, while his impressive total of 87 laps made for an overall team total of 144, which is equal best out of all the teams.

In this short testing programme, the final day will see both teams sharing the workload across both drivers as we look to wrap-up a productive weekend ahead of the 2021 season.

Toyoharu Tanabe
Toyoharu Tanabe
Honda Racing F1
On this the second day of the Bahrain test, our two teams again completed a decent number of laps – 144 for Scuderia AlphaTauri and 117 for Red Bull Racing. Although it was windy, particularly in the morning, the conditions were far better than yesterday with no sand storms to deal with. In addition, ambient and track temperatures were about 10 degrees lower, which gave us the opportunity to gather data in different running conditions. On the PU side, we worked on checking actual race settings and completed various other tasks, optimising the PU parameters and carrying out function checks. It’s the final day of testing tomorrow before we actually go racing, so we look forward to another straightforward day on track, in order to be as well prepared as possible for the first round of the championship back at this same track in two weeks’ time.

Pierre Gasly
Pierre Gasly 10
Scuderia AlphaTauri
It’s been another really positive day for me, with a lot of laps done this afternoon. We managed to complete all the high-fuel running that we wanted to at the start of the session and then some performance runs towards the end, with the softer compound. I feel really good in the car, especially compared to this time last year, so it’s really positive for me. There are obviously places we still need to improve upon, but I think we’re in a good place with one day left of running at this test. The Honda Power Unit is working really well so far and we haven’t had any reliability issues which is great – I’m excited to get it out on track for the race. With only three days of testing – split between two drivers - I knew it would be difficult but considering how many laps we’ve been able to complete so far I’m feeling quite comfortable with the car ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Yuki Tsunoda
Yuki Tsunoda 22
Scuderia AlphaTauri
I think for me on the driving side things are definitely improving each time I go out. The weather again today has been an issue, particularly with the changes in wind direction, so it’s definitely been a big learning curve. I’m really starting to understand the car and how it reacts with different tyre compounds now – my performance isn’t perfect yet but I’m happy with how the test is going from my side. I’m also getting more confident in high speed corners, as I continue to understand the downforce levels of the car more with each run we do. It’s good learning for the team, and also for myself, so hopefully we can put it all together tomorrow.

Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez 11
Red Bull Racing
It was great to do a full day of testing in the RB16B and even though conditions are very tricky out there we got through plenty of work and there is plenty of development to come. It’s great to be working with the Team and I’m getting more and more used to things - I can already feel the potential. I have the morning tomorrow in the car, so I’m looking forward to getting in some more laps.

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