A driver notoriously absent from the pre-season photo

One of the 20 drivers in this year’s Formula 1 line-up was unable to attend the pre-season team and drivers photo shoot in Bahrain.

The second pre-season test session ahead of the 2022 Formula 1 season started on Thursday at the Bahrain International Circuit.

Testing at the 15-turn, 3.363-mile (5.412-kilometre) road course in Sakhir, Bahrain is scheduled to run until Saturday March 12 before the track officially kicks off the 23-race season next Sunday March 20 with the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Before the start of the session, the drivers and teams immediately gathered at the front of the track. The sport’s 10 teams all had their cars on the grid, with the drivers standing alongside their respective cars for a photo op. The cars have been sorted in the order of arrival of the teams in the 2021 manufacturer classification.

However, there were only 19 drivers on the grid, not all 20.

Kevin Magnussen, who was just confirmed as a late replacement for Nikita Mazepin alongside Mick Schumacher at Haas yesterday, was in attendance, as was Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, who apart from Magnussen was the only driver to miss the photo op. yesterday in support of Ukraine due to a flight delay.

It was McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo who couldn’t show up as he wasn’t feeling well and didn’t make it to the circuit on Thursday.

This left Lando Norris to represent the team alone alongside their MCL36, which was ranked second behind Red Bull’s RB18 and alongside Ferrari’s SF21.

Ricciardo’s status for the final two days of testing tomorrow and Saturday has yet to be confirmed, and it is unclear when a decision will be made.

Naturally, the bigger goal would be to get him back for the season opener next weekend. The first two practice sessions for the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix are scheduled to take place on Friday March 18 before practice and qualifying on Saturday March 19 and the race on Sunday March 20.

Jack C. Nugent