F1 teams could be offered choice of Bahrain or Spain 2017 testing

Plans for Formula 1 teams to be offered the choice of Barcelona or Bahrain as a venue for pre-season testing next season are being discussed, Autosport has learned

F1 teams could be offered choice of Bahrain or Spain 2017 testing

Agreement had been reached to head back to Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya for the two four-day tests that will run February 27-March 2 and March 7-10.

Some teams are keen to save costs and maximise production and development time by remaining in Europe for the tests.

However, tyre supplier Pirelli and a handful of teams would prefer to head to Bahrain because of the warmer conditions.

It has emerged that a fresh push has been made at this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix to test in Bahrain by senior paddock figures.

As a result, a plan to offer teams that option has been put up for discussion.

Teams will then have to decide whether they stay in Europe and maximise development time or head to Bahrain to gain better data.

It raises the possibility of teams running separately in pre-season testing for the first time since 2009.

It is understood there is also be the possibility of doing one test in Barcelona and one test in Bahrain.

Should teams head to Bahrain, it is believed Pirelli will provide some financial support to help cover the extra costs.

Meanwhile, Autosport has learned there are likely to be two in-season tests again next season with Barcelona and Silverstone pencilled in as the hosts.

These would take place on the Tuesday and Wednesday after the respective grand prix weekends.

They will not be confirmed until after the final 2017 calendar is ratified at the next World Motor Sport Council meeting in December.

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