Formula 1's plans for Bahrain pre-season testing in 2019 dropped

Plans for Formula 1 to undertake pre-season testing in Bahrain have been dropped, with teams now choosing between Barcelona or a return to Jerez instead

Formula 1's plans for Bahrain pre-season testing in 2019 dropped

The majority of F1 teams were keen to go to Bahrain as the better weather would guarantee uninterrupted running.

Barcelona is no longer considered a representative venue, with Pirelli having mandated thinner tyre threads for the 2018 Spanish Grand Prix after blistering problems in testing.

A move for pre-season testing in Barcelona had gone as far as negotiations with the F1 organisation over the cost of freight, but teams this week were told the plans had ended and that testing is now committed to Europe.

It's understood that Barcelona was unhappy with the Bahrain plans because it sees winter testing as a useful revenue generator alongside the Spanish GP.

Jerez had fallen out of favour - having last been used as a venue in 2015 - but it has now been resurfaced. Combined with usually better weather than Barcelona and it puts Jerez (pictured below) into consideration once again.

"As far as I know that's not going to happen now," said Williams technical chief Paddy Lowe of the Bahrain plans. "I think during this week it's become clear that there isn't enough support to do it.

"I think it's being discussed where exactly to go. There was a meeting about it today.

"I think Barcelona's [been] suggested, Jerez is an option. I think it has been resurfaced, that's why it's in the frame.

"There may be other places to consider but they would be the two most likely."

The dates originally earmarked for Bahrain were February 18-21 and, after a four-day break, February 26-March 1, with the Australian Grand Prix set to take place a fortnight later.

It's understood that F1 is keen to use the testing as a way to generate season preview material and that there has been discussions with teams about removing garage doors and screens that hide their new cars.

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Series Formula 1
Author Adam Cooper
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