Christian Horner strongly disagrees with George Russell claim

Pre-season testing is being conducted over three days this season, with the first round to take place next weekend in Bahrain.

Pre-season testing at the Bahrain International Circuit started perfectly for reigning Constructors’ Champions Red Bull, with Max Verstappen having completed 157 laps on the opening day, whilst he also topped the timesheets.

The Dutchman was the only Red Bull driver used on the opening day, with himself and Sergio Pérez having been allocated one full day of running each.

Unlike last season, pre-season testing this year is being conducted over just three days, with each team only being allowed to use one car during each session.

Each day is split into two sessions, with most teams giving each driver a session over all three days.

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Mercedes’ George Russell has criticised how compact pre-season testing is, given that each driver only gets a day and a half of testing before the first round of the season.

The 25-year-old would like to see both cars in action during the three days, in what he labels as the “best compromise”.

Interestingly, Red Bull boss Christian Horner believes pre-season testing could actually be reduced further, with the Brit believing pre-season testing could be done over two days, instead of three.

“Look at the reliability we’ve had, we had one red flag very early on and that rectified pretty quickly,” Horner said.

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“These regulations are pretty stable and 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 promoters are looking to cram in now, why not go to 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 year, is that such a bad thing, and you’ve enough of the year [left] to sort it out.”

Russell argues that other sports would never give their athletes such little time to warm-up, with the Mercedes driver using tennis legend Rafael Nadal as an example.

Russell argued that Nadal would never enter a major competition with just “one and a half days of training” following “12 weeks” out, so why should F1 drivers do it?

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“Personally speaking, I don’t think three days is enough, because you have got to remember from a driver’s perspective, that is one and a half days per driver,” Russell said.

“We were fortunate to do the [Silverstone filming days] last week, but had we not, that would have been getting on for 12 weeks out of the car from Abu Dhabi to Bahrain.

“Could you imagine Rafael Nadal spending 12 weeks without hitting a ball and then going straight into the French Open with one and a half days of training? You know, it just wouldn’t ever happen.”