Fernando Alonso’s F1 testing plans suffer another blow as latest critic speaks out

Oliver Harden
Fernando Alonso sat with his helmet off in the cockpit of his Aston Martin AMR24

Fernando Alonso in his Aston Martin

Fernando Alonso’s F1 testing proposal has suffered another blow after Valtteri Bottas, the Sauber driver, insisted three days of pre-season running is “enough.”

Alonso has been a vocal critic of F1’s restricted testing schedule, which leaves teams with just three days to learn about their new cars before the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

Speaking to media including PlanetF1.com’s Thomas Maher at the launch of Aston Martin’s 2024 car, the two-time World Champion described the situation as “unfair” and urged F1 to allow teams to run two cars to allow the drivers more mileage.

Valtteri Bottas disagrees with Fernando Alonso’s testing proposal

He said: “We have a very limited testing in Bahrain, which is – and I can say it now because I’ve been thinking all winter about this – how unfair [it] is that we have one day and a half to prepare a World Championship.

“There’s no other sport in the world with all the money involved, and with all the marketing and the good things that we say about Formula 1, and being closer and closer to the fans, I cannot understand why we then go to Bahrain for four days, which could be two and two for [each of] the drivers.

“If you go to three [days], which is an odd number, you cannot divide [fairly] between the drivers.

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“And I don’t know why we don’t go with two cars because we are already in Bahrain and we’re racing the following week.”

Laurent Mekies, the RB team principal, dismissed Alonso’s proposal ahead of the record-breaking 24-race 2024 campaign, telling media including PlanetF1.com that it is better to have more races than more testing.

Mekies went on to add that the current testing schedule is “quite easily manageable” with Alonso’s plans likely to result in a “not straightforward” situation if adopted by F1.

Now Alonso has suffered another blow with Bottas speaking out against his plans after Sauber registered the fourth-highest number of laps in Bahrain with 379, only behind Haas, Ferrari and Red Bull.

Asked if the current arrangement of three days of testing is enough, Bottas told media including PlanetF1.com: “Nowadays it is. It is.

“With the simulation tools, with the simulator, it is and I think today was a great example. There were no red flags [for cars stopping on track], all the cars seemed to work. So with the technology available nowadays, it’s enough.”

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