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Barcelona and Bahrain to host 2022 pre-season testing

NEWS STORY
26/07/2021

It is likely that Barcelona and Bahrain will host the all-important pre-season tests next year.

All important because of the huge overhaul to the aerodynamic rules, the biggest in living memory.

This year, with the cars barely unchanged from 2020 as a result of the pandemic, testing was limited to just three days and was carried out in Bahrain ahead of the season opener.

Next year it is anticipated that an initial three-day test at Barcelona, running from 23 to the 25 February, will be followed by another three-day test running from 11 to 13 March in Bahrain.

With officials in Australia having previously admitted that Melbourne is unlikely to host the season opener Bahrain also looks set to host the prestigious season opener on 20 March , with Saudi Arabia completing a Middle East double-header on 27 March.

Meanwhile, there remains speculation over the final leg of the 2021 schedule, with talk of Saudi Arabia's new Jeddah track hosting a double header.

"Formula 1 has a lot of partners in Europe and the Middle East," says Saudi Arabia's promoter, Prince Khalid Bin Sultan Al Faisal according to Motorsport.com, "different parts of the world, that they can accommodate and race.

"We haven't been asked by Formula 1 to accommodate a second race," he admits, "but everything is on schedule regarding our preparation, our construction, so if needed to host a race before our confirmed race I think we can accommodate that.

"With everything happening globally, if it is an issue for Formula 1, we need what's best for the championship. For us we want to focus on the first race, it is our first race, we have nice plans in terms of promotion and activities and opening ceremony for the event.

"But in the end if it is a must and they need another country then we can be an option if it will help Formula 1."

With F1 bosses still sticking to Chase Carey's 23-race plan, other than a return to the outer circuit in Bahrain, Qatar's Losail International Circuit is looking increasingly likely to be included, most likely to replace the cancelled Australian Grand Prix.

In a further twist, amidst the UK government's constant tinkering with the various travel zones, there is talk of Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi swapping slots.

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