2024 FORMULA 1 BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX PREVIEW

27.2.2024

The 2024 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season begins in Bahrain this weekend at the Bahrain International Circuit.

 

 

Last week the team ran 334 laps / 1807km across the three-day pre-season test in Bahrain, as it continues getting to grips with its all new A524.

 

 

In the team’s Bahrain Grand Prix preview:

 

 

- Bruno Famin manages expectations and outlines the key learnings from the test.
- Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly gear up for Formula 1’s record-breaking 24-race calendar.
- The Alpine Academy begins its campaign with FIA Formula 2 and FIA Formula 3 on the Grand Prix undercard.
- The team will run the inverted pink livery as part of its title partnership with BWT.

On video

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Bruno Famin, Team Principal:

 

 

Setting the scene


We are looking forward to the start of the Formula 1 racing season in Bahrain this weekend. We had a productive three-day test here last week where we continue to learn and progress the A524. We knew it was not going to be an easy start to the season. Accepting these challenges is all part of racing in Formula 1 and it is important that we all push very hard to develop the A524 in the coming weeks and months.

 

 

Team unity


The car has a good base, one we can and will develop across the season. I was very pleased to see the togetherness in the team in recent weeks and months in reaching various milestones, which culminated with having the car on track last week. And it is that hard work that will continue in order for us to keep progressing.

 

 

The Drivers


I know that Esteban and Pierre are hungry and motivated to play their part on track and we look forward to counting on their professionalism and experience. Finally, this weekend also marks the return of FIA Formula 2 and FIA Formula 3 where we will eagerly follow the results of Victor and Kush in Formula 2 as well as Gabriele, Sophia and Nikola in Formula 3.


Esteban Ocon:

 

 

Visor down


After three days of intensive pre-season testing and a long winter of training in readiness for the new season, I’m eager to get back behind the wheel and race in earnest at a Grand Prix weekend. Even though it was only testing, I was involved in some wheel-to-wheel action during the end of one of the test sessions, which saw multiple cars in a drag race down into Turn 1. It was fun and whet my appetite for more of the same this weekend in Bahrain.

 

 

Extracting the maximum


The test session in Bahrain was extremely valuable and we learnt a lot about the new car and its characteristics. The car improved from the first to the last day in testing, so we’re hoping to see similar improvements over the course of the race weekend. We know what we’re working with heading into the opening race of the season, and we must extract the maximum from our package to give us the best possible chance of coming away with something from the weekend.

 

 

Focus on ourselves


It’s difficult to gauge the pecking order after such a short testing schedule, with teams running different programmes and fuel loads. We just focused on ourselves and gathered as much data as possible. The same also applies for this weekend in Bahrain. We know we’re entering this season slightly on the back foot with the new car concept and the team is working incredibly hard to bring more performance to the car in the coming races.

 

 

Esteban Stats – Bahrain Grand Prix

Starts in Bahrain: 6
Points in Bahrain: 10
Average Points: 1.6
Best Grid Position: 7th (2020)
Best Finish*: 7th (2022)
Best Qualifying Lap Time: 1min 28.419secs (2020)
Fastest Lap: 1min 34.354secs (2020)

 

 

*Esteban finished in 2nd place in the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix on the outer Bahrain International Circuit layout after starting from 11th on the grid.

 

 

Did you know?

This weekend should see Esteban Ocon start his 134th career Grand Prix, which would tie him with compatriot Jean-Pierre Jarier (1971-83). Assuming he starts the two opening Grands Prix of the season, Esteban will move into the top fifty most experienced drivers in F1 history.

 


Pierre Gasly:

 

 

New season same excitement


It is always a very unique feeling on the dawn of a Formula 1 season. I’m always so excited for it as it’s when all the talking and anticipation stops and we just get on track and go racing once again. I’m in great shape both physically and mentally. I had a fantastic off-season and I feel ready for the challenge of the 24-race season in my second season with Alpine.

 

 

Realistic frame of mind


We had a very busy three-day test last week. We just focused on ourselves, did our own programme without too much stress and conducted so many tests as we learn more and more about our overall car package. I expect it will take some time for us to unlock the performance we want from the car but that is no surprise given it’s a new concept. I’m remaining realistic. I know it will not be an easy start for us but what is most important is to keep identifying the key areas of work and to learn and progress.

 

 

Racing in Bahrain


Bahrain is a great track for racing. I think we even had a reminder of that in the test last week! There are multiple places for overtaking so it’s usually an exciting one for us drivers. Last year, I scored points after a very strong Sunday performance in my first race for Alpine. Obviously, that is always the natural goal and we will see how the race weekend unfolds this time round. I’m certainly excited to be lining up on the grid once again and going for it at every opportunity.

 

 

Pierre Stats – Bahrain Grand Prix

Starts in Bahrain: 6
Points in Bahrain: 26
Average Points: 4.3
Best Grid Position: 5th (2018 and 2021)
Best Finish: 4th (2018)
Best Qualifying Lap Time: 1min 28.448secs (2020)
Fastest Lap: 1min 34.090secs (2021)

 

 

Did you know?


Pierre Gasly’s charge from last to ninth during the 2023 Bahrain GP included the fastest 10-lap stint by any driver during the entire race, a run that was on average 0.424s per lap quicker than race winner Max Verstappen. 

 


Alpine Academy

 

 

The Alpine Academy also return to the race track this weekend in Bahrain with FIA Formula 2 and FIA Formula 3 on the Grand Prix support bill.

 

 

Victor Martins (ART Grand Prix) and Kush Maini (Invicta Racing) will both line up for to begin their second seasons in Formula 2 this weekend. Victor secured his first podium in the category at the circuit one year ago, while Kush sealed his first points on debut on the same weekend.

 

 

Gabriele Minì (PREMA Racing), who secured his maiden Formula 3 pole position in Bahrain last year, will return to Formula 3 alongside Sophia Flörsch (Van Amersfoort Racing) and Nikola Tsolov (ART Grand Prix) fresh off the back of the recent pre-season test week in Sakhir.

 

 

The drivers will all be aiming to start their seasons off strong, taking forward their learnings from the 2023 season and their three-day test in Bahrain earlier in February.

 

 

Session Timings


Thursday 29th February

10:55-11:40 – FIA Formula 3 Practice
12:05-12:50 – FIA Formula 2 Practice
16:00-16:30 – FIA Formula 3 Qualifying
16:55-17:25 – FIA Formula 2 Qualifying


Friday 1st March

13:15-14:00 – FIA Formula 3 Sprint Race
17:15-18:00 – FIA Formula 2 Sprint Race


Saturday 2nd March

12:00-12:45 – FIA Formula 3 Feature Race
13:30-14:30 – FIA Formula 2 Feature Race