F1 pre-season testing dates confirmed in Spain and Bahrain

Formula 1 confirmed on Wednesday that pre-season testing will begin in Spain next month, followed by a session in Bahrain in early March.

The often-used Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on the outskirts of Barcelona will host the first test from February 22-25.

The second test will take place in Bahrain from March 10-12 – ahead of the season-opening race on March 20 at the Bahrain International Circuit.

F1 is set to introduce a new set of rules to level out the competition – such as budget caps – and 2022 cars will feature newly designed front and rear fenders and 3D-shaped floors, while the Italian manufacturer Pirelli offers larger tires.

Teams raced on 13-inch tires in 2021 and will upgrade to an 18-inch model. Pirelli boss Mario Isola is confident this will lead to “less overheating, less degradation” and allow drivers to fight harder on the track, rather than worrying too much about tire wear.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen won a thrilling title last year with a final lap overtake from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes in the final race of the Abu Dhabi GP.

Mercedes had won the previous seven drivers’ and constructors’ championships in a time of total dominance.

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