It started out well as Dennis Hauger led the way on day one albeit after an evening of fairly unrepresentative running considering that torrential rain impacted the session.

MP Motorsport, along with every team in the Formula 2 pitlane, were left playing catchup on the lost running in the dry and, as Team Manager Jeremy Cotterill explains, it’s something they were left to rue.

With a huge list of to-dos for everyone considering the arrival of the new 2024 car left unfinished, the unexpected downpour has only compounded things. It could provide a few surprises come lights out according to MP.

“It was challenging at times. We were trying to cram a three-day test into two, so it's the same for everyone but it’s been a bit up and a bit down, but overall, it’s been ok. The thing is to learn as much as possible, gather the data, learning as much as we possibly can.

“Some of that we’ve been able to gather, but other parts we’ve not even been able to look at yet in any real detail.”

After Hauger’s day one efforts put him and the team on top, days two and three passed without any headline times. But both the Norwegian and rookie teammate Franco Colapinto were in and around the top 10 across the remaining sessions.

Hauger was quickest in the wet and positive about the teams work in Bahrain
Hauger was quickest in the wet and positive about the team's work in Bahrain

Most crucially though, both were trying to absorb as much as they possibly could about the new car, with the general feeling being that a lot was still accomplished in this area despite the less-than-ideal weather on day one.

Cotterill says both drivers have been able to learn about the minute details that are different between the ’23 and ’24 machines and that could prove pivotal in a few weeks’ time.

“The main thing is the drivers learning about the car. It’s a little bit different from last year’s car but the thing is the tyre is the same. Them learning to push it, how to push and when not to push it, the small things that this car does differently to the previous car is crucial.”

READ MORE: Hauger: ‘Rain limited us but early feeling is positive’

In terms of pace comparisons, both looked fairly matched with little to give or take in either driver’s favour. But, to have consistently been in a similar position on each day and near the top 10 with both is a positive to carry into the season.

Now, it’s up to the team to carry out extensive analysis ahead of the first race weekend not just of their own work, but to understand where they could end up in the pecking order versus rivals. It’s something of a dark art according to Cotterill, with so many variables needing to be taken into account.

Colapinto has been adapting to the new F2 car after getting his maiden outing around Yas Marina last year
Colapinto has been adapting to the new F2 car after getting his maiden outing around Yas Marina last year

“Of course, we have an idea of what other people are doing, but it’s only an idea from what we assume, but nobody really knows what anyone else is really doing in true detail.

“Again though, overall, the test has generally been positive. Not everything has been positive but if you learn something, that’s ok. A bad result in terms of not getting what you expected actually gives you another direction to go in or a new direction to work towards. That’s basically the way testing goes.”

Last season, MP endured an up and down opening round to the season, with Hauger securing a podium in the Sprint Race but the team scored no points in the higher points-paying Feature Race.

Across the test, Hauger cut a very positive figure despite the usual caveats of not knowing exactly what rivals are up to. Colapinto too was enthused about his early steps in the new 2024 car after getting an early opportunity racing in the 2023 finale at Yas Marina last year.

Whether or not both will be as happy come the end of the month only time will tell, but the early signs are at least encouraging if not outright exciting.