Formula 1 pre-season testing set for Bahrain switch

Formula 1 is set to move 2021 winter testing to Bahrain in March in the wake of Australia's pending postponement as the season opener.

Formula 1 pre-season testing set for Bahrain switch

With the Melbourne race planned for 21 March set to be postponed amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions, F1 is poised to stage its 2021 season opener in Bahrain on 28 March.

Read Also:

F1 teams had originally considered moving pre-season testing to Bahrain for the 2021 season, but agreed to remain at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain for the single three-day test.

But with Australia's likely postponement set to change the logistical plans involved for pre-season testing, teams have agreed it would be best to move testing to Bahrain.

It would ensure that all of the freight travelling to the Bahrain International Circuit for testing could remain there for the opening race, cutting back on costs and further travel.

But Motorsport.com understands there is still some disagreement between teams over when the three-day test will take place in Bahrain, leaving the dates for testing unconfirmed.

While some are eager to hold the running as close to the race as possible, others are looking to run it further out from the Bahrain weekend.

The sporting regulations state the three-day test must take place "between 1 February and 10 days before the start of the first event of the championship".

This means that testing could theoretically finish as late as 16 March, 10 days before the start of first practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix. Testing was due to take place in Barcelona from 2-4 March, finishing 17 days before the opening race in Australia was planned.

Once the teams have come to a decision on the best date slot for the test, final plans will be put in place with the Bahrain International Circuit. The Sakhir track is currently scheduled to host F2 pre-season testing from 9-11 March.

It would mark the first time Bahrain has hosted F1 pre-season testing since 2014, when it held two four-day tests at the start of the V6 hybrid era.

The track has since hosted in-season testing in 2017 and 2019, as well as staging an additional grand prix last year as part of the revised 2020 schedule.

shares
comments

Related video

Sainz relishing "tough" challenge of limited Ferrari F1 testing

Previous article

Sainz relishing "tough" challenge of limited Ferrari F1 testing

Next article

McLaren F1 driver Norris tests positive for COVID-19

McLaren F1 driver Norris tests positive for COVID-19
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Luke Smith
How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean? Prime

How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But how long will their battle remain clean? Jonathan Noble ponders that exact point

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Prime

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Prime

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button.

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Prime

How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace Prime

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace

Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Prime

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his teammate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon.

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Prime

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight.

Formula 1
May 5, 2021