Who were the fastest teams in Bahrain pre-season testing?

Pre-season testing in Bahrain has now concluded, with the first race of the season only days away at the same venue.

Over the course of the three-day pre-season in Bahrain, teams were able to run a whole variety of testing plans to try out their new cars.

Different run plans, tyre compounds and fuel loads mean that lap times and results have to be taken with a pinch of salt however, after all three days of testing have been completed, some conclusions can be drawn.

The fastest team in testing was unsurprisingly Red Bull, who will be looking to retain both of their championship titles this season.

The RB19 is clearly an evolution of last year’s car, which blew away the competition under the new regulations and helped Max Verstappen and the team to both championships with races to spare.

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Red Bull looked phenomenally quick and topped the timing screens at the end of all three days of testing, making them the early favourites for the upcoming season.

The second fastest team was Ferrari, who were 0.50% slower that Red Bull, making it a close battle between the two teams heading into the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The Scuderia’s approach to testing was different to Red Bull’s, with Ferrari not really showing their true potential until later on in the tests.

The SF-23 is experiencing a small amount of porpoising which will slightly worry Ferrari, but generally the car looked very reliable.

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Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc are arguably the closest matched driver pairing on the grid, meaning that both drivers will have title ambitions of their own this season, should they be able to get the better of Red Bull.

Surprisingly the third fastest team in pre-season was not Mercedes, it was Aston Martin, with the green team’s pace being 0.73% slower than the leaders Red Bull.

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The team have continued to strengthen over the winter, with high-profile staff additions and the signing of Fernando Alonso helping the team make a huge leap forwards.

Even without Lance Stroll present during testing due to an injury, Aston Martin look in great shape heading into the Bahrain Grand Prix and will certainly be targeting podiums this year.

While the team look strong at the moment, the question will be whether they can upgrade and stay competitive or whether they will begin to slip and fall behind the likes of Mercedes.