Albon & Russell back Alonso’s call for more F1 testing

The Formula 1 paddock has seen an uptick in debate around pre-season testing schedules, with Fernando Alonso leading the charge, criticizing the limited three-day window for testing with a single car per two-driver team as “ridiculous.” The Aston Martin driver didn’t hold back, drawing a vivid comparison to underline his point: “We’re talking about the most demanding sport, with budgets of 200 million per team per year. It seems ridiculous. It’s like swapping the racquets and balls in tennis and letting the players train for just one day before a Grand Slam,” Alonso elaborated on the issue.

Echoing Alonso’s sentiments, Williams’ Alex Albon highlighted the fairness aspect, suggesting that the restriction was intended “to make the whole thing a little fairer” for smaller teams. However, Albon pointed out a discrepancy in preparation opportunities, noting, “On the other hand, we don’t have a test car at all,” which contrasts with some teams’ ability to run outside the official schedule using two-year-old cars. “While other teams do a bit of driving in the winter months, yesterday was my first day in a Formula 1 car since Abu Dhabi,” Albon added, emphasizing the disparity. “That’s not fair.”

Mercedes’ George Russell also chimed in, pointing to the crunch in driver preparation time. With the Bahrain test limited to just three days, it means each driver only gets a day and a half in total to prepare for next weekend’s grand prix and the new season. Russell underscored the precariousness of the situation, stating, “Assuming the test goes completely smoothly, one and a half days per driver is the absolute minimum,” a scenario that hardly seems sufficient for the pinnacle of motorsport.

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