New cars analysed as F1 preseason testing begins in Bahrain

Leclerc: New Ferrari definitely a step forward from last year (1:09)

Charles Leclerc reacts to Ferrari's new SF-24 for the 2024 Formula 1 season. (1:09)

Formula One's preseason testing for the 2024 season has started at Bahrain's Sakhir International Circuit.

The three-day test -- the only opportunity for teams to gather on-track data about their cars before the opening race at the same venue on March 2 -- allows teams unlimited running during a certain time window.

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It is the first opportunity for the public to properly see and analyse the designs of the 10 teams' new race cars.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner, who is the subject of an ongoing investigation into inappropriate behaviour that threatens his position on the team, is present at the circuit and will face the media in a press conference on Thursday.

Away from the Horner controversy, Red Bull's radical new car design will be a talking point, especially after it won 21 of the 22 races last year. The likes of McLaren, Aston Martin, Mercedes and Ferrari are all looking to cut the gap to the world champions this year.

The test should give a decent idea of the competitive order heading to the first race.

Teams are only allowed to run one car at a time, meaning drivers alternate duties during the test.

Usually drivers will leave the test with effectively a day and a half of running under their belt. Teams can either run one driver all day, or swap drivers after the designated lunch break.

The start of the test marks an end to a dramatic offseason, which has also included Lewis Hamilton's bombshell 2025 move to Ferrari, Guenther Steiner leaving Haas and Andretti's bid to join the grid as an 11th team being rejected.

Wednesday running order

Red Bull: Max Verstappen
Mercedes: George Russell
Ferrari: Charles Leclerc/Carlos Sainz
McLaren: Oscar Piastri/Lando Norris
Aston Martin: Fernando Alonso/Lance Stroll
Alpine: Esteban Ocon/Pierre Gasly
Williams: Alex Albon/Logan Sargeant
RB: Yuki Tsunoda/Daniel Ricciardo
Stake: Valtteri Bottas/Zhou Guanyu
Haas: Kevin Magnussen/Nico Hulkenberg