Roy Nissany, Williams, Monza, 2020

Full 21 driver line-up confirmed for pre-season testing

2021 F1 season

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Williams is the only team which has confirmed it will run a test driver during the single pre-season test which will begin at Bahrain International Circuit tomorrow.

Formula 2 driver Roy Nissany will be first to get behind the wheel of the Williams FW43B in the three-day test. He will have the car for a full day, while race drivers Nicholas Latifi and George Russell will follow him on the subsequent two days.

All other teams will use their two race drivers. Many will split each day’s running between their two drivers.

In recent years it has been common for teams to cover well over two race distances per day during testing, as the tightly limited pre-season running puts track time at a premium. This year’s three-day pre-season test is the shortest ever.

As a result, 17 different drivers will be in action on the first day alone. Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton will make his first appearance for Mercedes in the afternoon.

All three rookie drivers for the 2021 F1 season will drive on Friday. Yuki Tsunoda will drive the AlphaTauri in the afternoon.

Haas, who ran their new VF-21 for the first time in a filming day at the track today, will have Mick Schumacher in the car tomorrow morning and Nikita Mazepin in the afternoon.

Fernando Alonso, who is returning to F1 with Alpine following a two-year absence, and suffered a fractured jaw in a pre-season cycling accident, will not drive until Saturday.

Each day’s test will be split into two four-hour blocks, beginning at 10am and 3pm local time, with a one-hour break for lunch.

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TeamFriday morningFriday afternoonSaturday morningSaturday afternoonSunday morningSunday afternoon
MercedesValtteri BottasLewis HamiltonLewis HamiltonValtteri BottasValtteri BottasLewis Hamilton
Red BullMax VerstappenMax VerstappenSergio PerezSergio PerezSergio PerezMax Verstappen
McLarenDaniel RicciardoLando NorrisDaniel RicciardoLando NorrisLando NorrisDaniel Ricciardo
Aston MartinSebastian VettelLance StrollSebastian VettelLance StrollLance StrollSebastian Vettel
AlpineEsteban OconEsteban OconFernando AlonsoFernando AlonsoEsteban OconFernando Alonso
FerrariCharles LeclercCarlos Sainz JnrTo be confirmedTo be confirmedTo be confirmedTo be confirmed
AlphaTauriPierre GaslyYuki TsunodaYuki TsunodaPierre GaslyPierre GaslyYuki Tsunoda
Alfa RomeoKimi RaikkonenAntonio GiovinazziAntonio GiovinazziAntonio GiovinazziKimi RaikkonenKimi Raikkonen
HaasMick SchumacherNikita MazepinNikita MazepinMick SchumacherMick SchumacherNikita Mazepin
WilliamsRoy NissanyRoy NissanyNicholas LatifiNicholas LatifiGeorge RussellGeorge Russell

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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10 comments on “Full 21 driver line-up confirmed for pre-season testing”

  1. “Full 21 driver line-up confirmed for pre-season testing”
    Ferrari – “to be confirmed”

    1. I suspect their schedule depends on how the first day of testing will go for them. If one of their drivers loses either the entire or a big part of their session in the car, due to some reliability issues, I think they will decide and give that driver a full day on Saturday and the same for the other driver on Sunday.

    2. There are no doubts as to which drivers are going to be in the test and the headline didn’t claim anyting else :)

    3. Thanks guys. Next time I’ll be even more clear I am just joking around.

      1. Sarcasm is a good thing, for those who get it, but for those who don’t, it’s important to be kind and accommodating and explain it. Sarcasm is often a function of socio-economic and cultural factors, and this website has people from a large spectrum of the above.

  2. Crazy to think that a driver will only get 1.5 days of testing before the season starts. Just up until 2 years ago, we had 8 days of pre season testing.. which really gave rookies and returning drivers enough prep time before the season starts. Can’t help but think that Tsonuda, Schumi, Mazepin and Alonso would take at least up to race 3 or 4 before they start finding their rhythm.

    From a team’s perspective, it should make for an interesting start to the season. Mercedes were incredibly efficient at spotting weaknesses in pre season testing and fixing them, with updates, before the first race of the season. Will be interesting to see how they perform in such a short time frame.

    Mclaren and Ferrari should also have their hands full, with the new engine implementation and new aero changes respectively. I’m guessing they’ll be running a lot of tests in the FP sessions of the first few races as well.

    Can hardly wait for this season to get started.

  3. @todfod Something’s not right when the limited testing to save money is ultimately about leveling the field, and then does the exact opposite with rookies and the have nots floundering due to lack of running and extending the field gap.

  4. @balue

    Kind of agree.. It’s disadvantageous from the driver angle to new entrants.. But on the teams side it can throw up some surprises for race 1. Personally, I’m not against this testing format.. Wrll

    1. Sorry.. *we’ll only know once we get to race 1

  5. Maybe an additional rookie test day in the pre season could be a good idea to get the newcomers up to speed. Maybe that would be good for safety reasons aswell.

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