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F1 to scrap pre-season Bahrain test

Bahrain circuit
Bahrain circuit
Valterri Bottas, Williams FW36

Valterri Bottas, Williams FW36

Formula one will scrap plans to return to Bahrain for pre-season testing next winter.

This year, to guarantee good weather for all-important running of the radically-new cars and engines, the teams headed to Bahrain's Sakhir track for eight days of running ahead of the season opener in Australia.

But with cost-cutting now such a high priority, the sport will not be returning to the island Kingdom ahead of the 2015 season, Speed Week claims.

Pirelli chief Paul Hembery backed the move.

"Bahrain is much further away from everything than Spain is," he said, "so testing there is more expensive.

"Logistically, Bahrain is a nightmare," Hembery added. "If you have a problem, it takes a lot more time to fly out new parts. Six hours flights, not two."

Speed Week correspondent Mathias Brunner said team bosses agreed in Canada at the weekend that three pre-season tests will take place next winter -- all of them in Spain.

The precise dates have not yet been decided, but it is believed the winter testing will begin at Jerez and end with two sessions in Barcelona.

It is also reported that, also for cost reasons, F1 could once again axe in-season testing, despite the fact the concept of post-race tests at some key grand prix circuits was only introduced this year.

Brunner said: "It (the in-season test ban) is not yet set in stone. There are team bosses who want at least two tests during the season."

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