JUNE 17, 2024

F1 teams say no to winter testing in Barcelona

Formula 1 teams are set to vote against heading to Barcelona early next year for pre-season testing.

Carlos Sainz, Spanish GP 2023
© Ferrari

In recent times, Bahrain has been the chosen and logical destination for the critical and limited winter period - given the dry and warm weather and the fact that the same Sakhir circuit hosts the opening race of the season.

However, the 2025 season opener will in fact take place in Melbourne - prompting a re-think about whether Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya was now a much more logical destination than Bahrain for the sole pre-season test.

Only three teams wanted to go to Barcelona, reports Auto Motor und Sport correspondent Tobias Gruner, revealing that the teams were Red Bull, sister team RB, and Sauber.

Those three teams argued that Barcelona is not only better logistically in terms of shipping new parts from the European F1 factories, but also a significantly cheaper and more sustainable destination for the 2025 schedule.

The track is also more representative than Bahrain, said Gruner, adding that one estimate is that heading to Barcelona was 800,000 euros cheaper per team.

An official vote will take place at the next F1 Commission meeting.

Gruner also reports that a second winter test will be added to the pre-season schedule for 2026, as teams prepare for the radical new car and engine regulations.

Notwithstanding F1's Barcelona testing snub, circuit president Roger Torrent insists it remains possible the actual grand prix at the track could remain beyond the expiring 2026 contract.

Madrid coming in does not put extra pressure on us, he insisted to Diario Sport.

Obviously, until there is something signed we are not going to announce it, but we are optimistic.