Barcelona test times and confirmed driver schedules

Date published: February 23 2022 - Jon Wilde

A view of the start/finish straight. Barcelona test February 2020.

Three full days of running for the all-new 2022 cars in Barcelona gets under way at 08:00 GMT on Wednesday.

The Circuit de Catalunya is the venue where all 10 teams are converging for the first sustained track time for their challengers created to meet Formula 1’s heavily-revised regulations. Bahrain stages the official test from March 10-12.

Wednesday to Friday, February 24-26, provides the first half of the six days in total that drivers will have to get used to the cars, which feature ground-effect aerodynamics intended to make following and overtaking easier – thus generating closer, more exciting racing.

Each of the three days follows the same timetable, with eight hours of track time divided by an hour’s break at lunchtime.

The first half runs from 08:00 to 12:00 and the afternoon session from 13:00 to 17:00, with the one-hour gap provided not only for lunch purposes but to also allow time for the car to be set up in case of a driver change.

Teams are taking different approaches to their driver schedules, with some opting to give each driver one full day apiece in the car and halving the remaining day.

Others have chosen to equally divide all three days so neither driver spends a full day on the sidelines.

Alfa Romeo, meanwhile, are reported to have taken away half a day’s learning from their rookie driver, Guanyu Zhou, in order to give veteran test driver Robert Kubica a run in the C42 on the opening morning.

With an entirely new line-up that also includes Valtteri Bottas, Kubica provides the only continuity from the previous generation of cars for Alfa Romeo so his data could prove valuable, while there may also have been some influence from the team’s title sponsor Orlen.

Here is what we understand so far as being the driver line-up for Barcelona:

Wednesday morning: George Russell (Mercedes), Max Verstappen (Red Bull), Lando Norris (McLaren), Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), Fernando Alonso (Alpine), Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri), Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin), Nicholas Latifi (Williams), Robert Kubica (Alfa Romeo), Nikita Mazepin (Haas).

Wednesday afternoon: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Max Verstappen (Red Bull), Lando Norris (McLaren), Carlos Sainz (Ferrari), Fernando Alonso (Alpine), Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri), Lance Stroll (Aston Martin), Alex Albon (Williams), Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo), Mick Schumacher (Haas).

Thursday morning: Sergio Perez (Red Bull), Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri), Esteban Ocon (Alpine), Lance Stroll (Aston Martin), Alex Albon (Williams), Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo), Mick Schumacher (Haas).

Thursday afternoon: Sergio Perez (Red Bull), Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri), Esteban Ocon (Alpine), Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin), Nicholas Latifi (Williams), Guanyu Zhou (Alfa Romeo), Nikita Mazepin (Haas).

Unknown: Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren.

 

Friday morning: Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri), Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin), Fernando Alonso (Alpine), Nicholas Latifi (Williams), Guanyu Zhou (Alfa Romeo), Nikita Mazepin (Haas).

Friday afternoon: Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri), Lance Stroll (Aston Martin), Esteban Ocon (Alpine), Alex Albon (Williams), Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo), Mick Schumacher (Haas).

Unknown: Mercedes, Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren.