2019 pre-season testing to move to Bahrain?


Pre-season testing next year looks likely to move to Bahrain as opposed to Barcelona.

The desert facility was previously used in 2014 and 2007, and by a number of teams between 2005 and 2009, and while there have been calls to return there - mainly due to the uncertainty over the weather in Spain - teams were unhappy with the increased costs, particularly when it came to shipping out spare parts and updates.

However, according to Auto Motor und Sport, Formula One Management has agreed to help cover the costs in return for the team allowing greater access to its TV cameras during the tests.

While the 'carrot' in terms of the costs being covered is likely to persuade some teams, the big hitters will not be happy at being told to remove the traditional screens and essentially allow the TV cameras - and thereby rivals - access to all areas.

Other than the weather, the other downside for Barcelona, particularly this year, has been the resurfacing of the track, with a number of teams and Pirelli complaining that once the season got underway it became clear the pre-season data was unrepresentative and to some extent misleading.

Like the Australian Grand Prix, which has been moved forward a week, the pre-season tests would also take place a week earlier than this year, with the first running from 18 February to 21 February and the second running from 26 February to March 1.

A vote on the move will take place before this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix, but with FOM and the FIA having already given the green light, only a majority vote is required.

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Published: 24/07/2018
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