Teams are still planning for two in-season F1 tests next season, contrary to some suggestions in the paddock.
While the two-pre season tests in March at Barcelona have long been set in stone, the teams are still discussing the dates and venues of the in-season tests, with the matter having been complicated by the new calendar confirmed by the World Motor Sport Council.
The FIA Sporting Regulations explain the testing rules thus: “Two team tests of no more than two consecutive days duration carried out on circuits within Europe where an Event has just taken place, such tests commencing no less than 36 hours after the end of the relevant Events.”
While as this year the first test is expected to follow the Spanish GP, finding a date for second has proved difficult. A return to Austria is the favoured choice, but because the race is followed by the first trip to Baku – which is a flyaway race – the transport logistics will be challenging.
Silverstone, dropped this year largely because of the price quoted by the track was too high for the teams, is back-to-back with Austria, so it cannot be used.
Hungary would eat into the summer break and in any case is not regarded as a good test venue, while Spa and Monza are seen as ‘one-offs’ and also not useful for testing. However the Belgian track was used for a test in 2007, and could be an option.