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Giedo van der Garde

Former F1 driver will be keeping a close eye on these teams during testing

The test days in Bahrain are just around the corner and so the big previews of the new Formula One season can begin. Former F1 driver Giedo van der Garde shares his expectations in an interview with RacingNews365.

F1 testdagen 2024
To news overview © XPBimages

Car launch season is over and the moment when they actually take to the track is getting closer. Some teams have already had a shakedown, but that is simply a test to see if all the systems on the car are working.

On Wednesday at 7am GMT the Formula 1 season will officially begin during the test days in Bahrain. From then on, the teams will have 24 hours spread over three days to see if the new cars can provide them with what they expect and if the updates are really working.

In an exclusive interview with RacingNews365, Giedo van der Garde looks ahead to the test days and what we can expect from them.

"Charles Leclerc was happy with the handling of the car at the first shakedown, Max Verstappen too. But you don't drive on the good tires, it's so hard to estimate if anything will change in terms of ratios," explained Van der Garde.

"During the test days, everyone drives their own program. What fuel levels are they running and what tires are the teams running? You can get almost nothing out of that. I think you have to start looking more at the long runs. Who is doing what, how consistently can they drive, who is fast there and what about tire wear?"

'Fast times maybe on last two nights in Bahrain'

"Really fast times you might see the last two nights in Bahrain, but I don't think everyone is showing the back of their tongue," explained Van der Garde. "But I think on the last day of testing you might see all the updates coming on the cars for the race the week after."

Is there one team he expects much from during the test days? "I find that difficult to assess. I think Red Bull is in very good shape, also because they have been working on this year's car for a while.

"I think Ferrari will be in good shape. If you look purely at the Mercedes, I think they have made a really good step. And it will be interesting what the impact of Red Bull on sister team RB is, because they are working together more now. So they will really make a good step as well. So it will be interesting. But Red Bull is definitely the clear favorite."

Van der Garde is no stranger to taking part in test days, having also done a fair few during his time at Caterham between 2012 and 2013. With that in mind, what are the main things he will be keeping an eye on?

"On a technical level, I'm going to look at what parts the teams have brought. How the cars look, how the airflow goes, what kind of wings they drive with, what race pace they drive with a lot of fuel on board and what tires they do it on," he said.

"That's great for us as analysts to see and be here all day. You see new gadgets on the car every time.

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