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F1 pre-season testing switches to Bahrain

Formula 1’s pre-season testing will take place in Bahrain following changes to the opening rounds of this year’s calendar.

When the first race was scheduled to be in Australia, pre-season testing was set to take place from March 2-4 at the usual venue of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. However, following the postponement of the race in Melbourne and a reworking of the calendar that now has Bahrain hosting the season-opener on March 28, testing has now been moved.

The three-day test – the only pre-season running the teams will get due to cost saving exercises; the cars being largely to those of last year – will now also take place in Bahrain. The dates have also changed in order to ensure the pre-season test is closer to the opening round, with it provisionally set to be held from March 12-14. That means testing will end exactly two weeks before the first grand prix of the season. If there are to be changes it is likely to be with the final dates, as teams did not unanimously agree on when to hold the event once it became clear a switch from Barcelona would make sense.

Following the race in Bahrain, F1 will return to Europe earlier than in previous years in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a second round in Imola following three weeks later before a double-header that is set to be Portimao and Barcelona on May 2 and 9.

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