Bahrain hoping to host 2022 pre-season testing

Finley Crebolder

Mercedes open to the idea of returning to Bahrain for testing in the future.

Bahrain hosted pre-season testing this year and wants to do so again in 2022, says Sheikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa.

The three-day test was originally going to take place in Barcelona this year but after the Bahrain Grand Prix became the season-opener following the postponement of the race in Australia, the decision was made to hold it in the Middle East instead.

While the sport has not indicated it was anything more than a one-off, Al Khalifa, chief executive of the Bahrain International Circuit, wants testing to take place there again next year.

“I remember in 2014 we did the test. This test was a bit shorter, so it was just three days,” he told

“Hopefully next year we can have a proper test with the new engines and new cars. They haven’t mentioned it but to me, it’s something that at the track we would like to see.

“I think this pre-season testing [and] opening round made sense. I don’t know what Australia’s doing or other events, but I did hear they are trying to shift to a later date.”

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A big talking point of the first race of the season was track limits at Turn 4.

Race Control’s notes said they would not be policing the limits there during the race, so Lewis Hamilton was confused when, after running wide there 29 times, he was informed by Mercedes that the stewards had warned him against doing so.

What’s more, Max Verstappen passed Hamilton at the same place as he tried to take a late victory, but was forced to give the position back as he ran wide while doing so which was deemed illegal.

To avoid such confusion in the future, Al-Khalifa says an extra kerb can be put down.

“As a venue, obviously, we follow the homologation of the FIA and what they need,” he explained.

“You can add an extra kerb in [Turn] Four, we have the red and white kerbs.

“The idea is obviously to keep them on the track and what can you do so there’s no advantage going out.

“So the idea is to work with the FIA and maybe extend the kerbs a bit, like having a double layer or something that could limit that.

“As long as there’s no advantage, people won’t use it.”

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