Pre-Season Testing – Bahrain: Day 3



Sakhir, 23 February 2024 – Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber completed the final day of pre-season testing with a busy day at the Bahrain International Circuit. Zhou Guanyu and Valtteri Bottas's 113 laps brought the team's tally to 380 laps for three days of testing, amounting to 2,056.56 kilometres in total. The data collected throughout the three days will now be thoroughly analysed by the team, as part of the final preparations ahead of next week's season opener, the 2024 Bahrain Grand Prix.

In the final day of on-track action, some precautionary checks over a suspect technical issue on the C44 cost the team some time in the morning, together with another red flag caused by a loose drain cover. Despite Valtteri's session coming to an early stop, the great job of the garage crew allowed Zhou to resume activities early in the afternoon and complete the team's programme of the day.

Overall, it's been three productive testing days for the team, gathering important information that will be crucial to better understand the C44 ahead of the start of the season. After intense months of hard work developing the team's 2024 challenger, the home team back in Hinwil also provided important support for the trackside crew, allowing them to successfully complete the three-day programme.

Circuit: Bahrain International Circuit / 5.412 km
Driver:  Valtteri Bottas (morning); Zhou Guanyu (afternoon)
Chassis / engine:  Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber C44-03 / Ferrari
Laps: 28 laps, 151.536 km (BOT); 85 laps, 460.020 km (ZHO)
Fastest Lap: 1:33.528 – P18 (BOT); 1:30.647 – P3 (ZHO)

James Key, Technical Director: "We have learned a lot throughout these three days of testing. We had a very logical approach; much like every other team we came with a list of items we wanted to tick off, and many new bits we wanted to get to know better. I believe we managed to go through them all. The C44 ran as it should, completing about 380 laps across three days – a testament to the good job done by the team back home in Hinwil during the winter. Everything seemed to be running as expected – there were no surprises in the garage, and despite having to cut Valtteri's session short earlier today due to the red flag and to run some precautionary checks, we still managed to achieve all that we had planned for the day. Overall, it's been three productive days full of learnings for our team, and all the data gathered will provide a solid foundation to work on ahead of the first race of the season. Of course, there's no point talking about lap times, as each team had its own priorities during testing, and we will surely learn more about each other's performance next week. Still, the feeling at the end of testing is positive, and we'll be aiming to move forward in this direction throughout the season."

Valtteri Bottas (Car 77): "Today was a bit more challenging as the red flag cost us quite some running time. Ending the session with some precautionary checks resulted in a few missed test items and laps, but we still managed to get through our planned priorities. We were able to learn more about the C44 and we feel reasonably prepared for next week's race. It's still quite difficult to evaluate the true performance and the competitive field, but we are confident in the data we collected. Now, it's all about analysing, learning and improving ahead of the race weekend."

Zhou Guanyu (Car 24): "We had another good day where we focused a lot on our long runs and managed to complete a second full race distance. We got through our programme and experimented with various setups and configurations to draw our conclusions. It's challenging to evaluate the full potential, especially with a completely new car, and we'll continue working and making strides over the next few days to be ready for the upcoming weekend. However, the true performance and how we rank compared to the other teams is yet to be seen until the first qualifying and race. We feel good and will use the remaining days to learn and find margins for improvement."

Credit: Stake F1 Team official website