Photo: Alfa Romeo

F1 2023 Testing Day 2: Zhou on top of mixed leaderboard

The second day of testing saw the drivers continue to try and better understand their new machinery. Sérgio Perez, who didn’t drive on day one, got to hit the track in his RB19, and was gathering data from long runs as he completed a solid 76 laps.


“I am happy in the car and I think we are in a good place. Now I am looking forward to getting a full day in the car tomorrow,” said the Mexican. (


Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz set the early benchmark with a 1:32.486, but this was comfortably topped by defending World Champion Max Verstappen in the afternoon session, as the Dutchman flexed his muscles again on the C3 tyre.


There was trouble for eight-time constructors Mercedes as George Russell stopped on track at the exit of turn 10, due to a hydraulic issue. The second red flag of testing was thrown, with the Brit’s W14 taken back to the pits for repair. The team were reportedly unhappy with the setup too, and the car didn’t run any more laps in the session.


Mercedes engine customers McLaren also weren’t extremely confident and pleased with their performance either, with CEO Zak Brown admitting they haven’t quite hit their 2023 development targets: “We know we set some goals for development which we didn’t hit, and we felt it was better to be honest about that.

“We, like everyone, have a lot of development coming, so we are encouraged [by] what we see around the corner…

“We want to be in the top four by the end of the year. Last year was a bit disappointing.

“Our aspirations are to get back to the front. We know that will take a little bit more time.” (

It was another encouraging day for new Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso, as he racked up an astonishing 130 laps in his AMR23, and finished third in the timings, just under six tenths away from Zhou who was on the softest and fastest C5 tyre.

The first ‘practice start’ of the season was an interesting talking point, with only a few drivers actually moving forward at lights out, away from a seemingly confused Logan Sargent, Lando Norris and Zhou Guanyu.


The third and final day of testing starts at 7:00 am tomorrow before the teams hit the track for real in round one’s practice next week.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *