Christian Horner suggests just two days of testing as drivers push for more

Jamie Woodhouse
Christian Horner, Red Bull, in sunglasses and headset. Bahrain, February 2023.

Red Bull principal Christian Horner wearing sunglasses and a headset. Bahrain, February 2023.

For all the chatter among drivers that a three-day pre-season testing period is not enough, Red Bull boss Christian Horner suggests losing another day.

Ahead of F1 2023 the teams and drivers have only three days of testing to get to grips with the new challengers before the season begins.

With the test being conducted at the Bahrain International Circuit, Round 1 of the 2023 campaign then takes place at the same venue on the following weekend.

This marks a drop on the amount of time afforded ahead of F1 2022, where an unofficial test in Barcelona was followed by the official outing in Bahrain, with that the first year of Formula 1’s new challengers which rely on ground-effect aerodynamics.

Support for just three days of testing has been limited among the drivers, with Mercedes’ George Russell suggesting that two cars should be permitted per team, rather than just the one as is currently the case.

Such a theory was put to Horner, who is firmly against the idea.

In fact, pointing out that Red Bull managed over 70 laps in the day one morning session alone via Max Verstappen, with Aston Martin triggering the only brief red flag period, Horner suggests the overall reliability would validate losing another day from the testing schedule.

Asked by media, including, if he would be in favour of a two-car test, Horner replied: “No, I mean, look at the reliability we’ve had this morning, I think we had one red flag very early on that was rectified pretty quickly.

“And these regulations are pretty stable. I mean, one could even argue the opposite. When you look at the reliability and so on, you could almost say with the amount of races that the promoters are looking to cram in now, why not go two days of testing and then go racing?

“Because if that does create a little bit of a more mixed field at the beginning of the season, is that such a bad thing? And you’ve got the year then to sort it out.

“2026 is a very different prospect, because obviously, everything is new in terms of the concept of engine and chassis, but with the current regulations, I think three days is ample, plus with what we discussed in the [F1] Commission about filming days.” recommends

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Additional reporting by Thomas Maher