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Two pre-season tests planned for 2017

NEWS STORY
06/09/2016

As was the case this year, there will be just two pre-season tests in 2017. However, while the dates are known, the venues are not.

Due to the raft of rule changes it was originally planned to have three tests, but the teams ultimately decided that this wasn't necessary.

However, the claim that the time freed up by not holding a third test could be better spent on development doesn't really stand up as surely the test track is the best means of development, therefore one has to wonder whether cost was an issue.

While the Circuit de Catalunya looks likely to be the favoured venue again, there has been talk of Bahrain or Abu Dhabi hosting the tests.

Speaking in July, with an eye on the notoriously inconsistent weather conditions in Europe, in February and March, even in Spain, Pirelli Motorsport boss Paul Hembery admitted that a middle-east venue would be his company's preferred option.

"We would prefer to go somewhere like Bahrain or Abu Dhabi," he told the official F1 website. "The temperatures will be representative and we know the tracks very well. We definitely would want to go to representative tracks."

Following the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, all the teams will have one day with the new compounds however, this will be with their 2016 cars, the pre-season tests being the first opportunity the teams get to run the new tyres on the new cars.

This week sees Pirelli's 2017 tyres testing resume, with Ferrari in action today and tomorrow in Barcelona and Mercedes in action for three days at Paul Ricard.

Though the venue has yet to be agreed, the pre-season tests will take place from 27 February to 2 March and 7 March to 10 March.

The season opening Australian Grand Prix, scheduled to form a back-to-back with China, takes place on 26 March.

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