Formula 1 pre-season may return to Bahrain in 2019
Eight days of Formula 1 pre-season testing could take place in Bahrain in 2019, according to media reports.
Pre-season testing was previously held in Bahrain between 2006 and 2009 and then again in 2014, but with some tests held in Europe.
The new proposal, however, will see all of the 2019 pre-season sessions held at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, Bahrain.
Formula 1 teams had previously expressed unhappiness regarding the additional costs of shipping spare parts and updates to the Gulf.
Currently, pre-season testing takes place at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain, but this year a whole day was lost due to inclement weather, prompting Red Bull team principal Christian Horner to say that “anywhere” would be better.
“We came here for cost reasons. It’s cheaper than flying all the kit and people out to Bahrain. But it actually ends up costing you money by not running,” he said.
“If there is an opportunity to go to a warmer climate next year then we would take it.”
According to the German-language Auto Motor Und Sport news outlet, however, Formula 1 management has now agreed to cover costs, in exchange for the teams permitting greater access for TV crews during the tests.
The 2018 Formula 1 season closes on November 25 with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, where teams also carry out some testing after the event.