There will be six days of tests in total, two less than usual, divided into two different weeks: Form the 19th to the 21st and from the 26th to the 28th. This is a crucial stage for the teams. After all of the engineering work of the winter months behind closed doors, the time has come to see if the data obtained at the simulators and wind tunnels yield the desired results on the track.
The new vehicles, and despite this being a sort of transitional season before the regulatory upheaval expected in 2021, they have undergone some significant changes.
The 2020 F1 pre-season test sessions in Spain will, therefore, be key to see if those, mostly aerodynamic improvements, have the desired effect. Most scuderias, however, have already had a chance to see their machines in action during the filming days. During those sessions, which are intended for marketing purposes, cars can complete a maximum of one hundred kilometres.
The team to kickstart the series of filming days was Red Bull. Max Verstappen took the wheel of the RB16 on the 12 of February at the Silverstone Circuit. Mercedes turn came a couple of days later with its brand new W11 driven by Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton. The favourite car on the grid came out on the English track minutes after being unveiled.
The new Alpha Tauri, former Toro Rosso, first trialled their spectacular AT01 on the 15th of February at the Italian circuit of Misano. The other scuderias also holding filming days before their training in Catalonia have been McLaren with its MCL35 (16th of February), Williams and its FW43 (17th of February) and Renault with their RS20 (17th of February).
As for the changes in the line-ups, Robert Kubica has joined Hass from Williams as a test pilot. Taking his place is the Canadian Nicholas Latifi who arrives from Formula 2. Finally, Frenchman Esteban Ocon will drive for Renault after a year off the track.
2020 F1 pre-season test sessions
WEDNESDAY 19 THURSDAY 20 FRIDAY 21
Mercedes Bottas / Hamilton
Ferrari Leclerc Leclerc / Vettel Leclerc
Red Bull Verstappen Albon Verstapen/Albon
McLaren Sainz Norris Norris/Sainz
Renault Ocon/ Ricciardo Ricciardo/ Ocon Ocon/Ricciardo
AlphaTauri Kvyat Gasly Kvyat/Gasly
R. Point Pérez/ Stroll Pérez Lance Stroll
A. Romeo Kubica/ Giovinazzi Räikkönen Giovinazzi
Haas Magnussen Grosjean Grosjean/Magnu.
Williams Russell/ Latifi Russell Latifi
2020 F1 pre-season test sessions: Mercedes AMG.