2021 winter testing slashed to three-day affair

2019 Bahrain GP Free Practice 3

Reports from Auto Motor und Sport are pointing towards a three-day winter test for the 2021 Formula 1 season at an unconfirmed venue.

With the much adjusted 2020 calendar finalised, F1 figure heads can now look towards 2021 with proceedings hopefully back to normal.

Although back to normal may be the case in terms of race numbers and locations, the same may not be said about testing. Cancelling winter testing entirely with the aim of cutting costs was a big talking point, but it appears teams have compromised and agreed to cut testing in half to just one three-day week.

The AMuS report claims that McLaren were the prominent force in favour of keeping some form of pre-season running. Given their switch from Renault to Mercedes power, the British team will be keen to make sure the transition is smooth.

Teams that are bringing in new drivers for 2021 are also keen to give their new members running time ahead of a Grand Prix weekend to assimilate the driver with their crew. The FIA are also planning some further aerodynamic changes in 2021 to reduce overall downforce and reduce stress on Pirelli tyres. Something that will also need to be tested ahead of the first race weekend of the season.

F1 have yet to confirm where the dress rehearsals for 2021 will take place. As of late, Barcelona has become the defacto pre-season testing circuit but Bahrain has been tipped to take the event next season.

The Sakhir circuit has hosted Formula 2 and Formula 3 for pre-season testing in recent years. It’s been mentioned that the local promoters in Bahrain will subsidise teams with a grant to make up for the long journeys with charter flights also much cheaper at the moment due to the crisis. However, the distance involved does bring concerns with the time needed to ship over spare parts to the circuit at short notice.