Bahrain pre-season test to open to public

Henry Valantine
Fans in attendance at the Formula 1 season opener. Bahrain March 2021.

Fans watch on from the grandstands ahead of the new season getting underway. Bahrain March 2021.

The second and final weekend of pre-season Formula 1 testing will be open to fans, the Bahrain International Circuit has confirmed.

Fans will be allowed to attend the three-day test in Sakhir, and the circuit posted on social media that “ticketing arrangements and details [are] to be announced over the next few days.”

This news will allow Formula 1 fans to see the brand new cars in action in the flesh for the first time. While the radically different machines will take to the track in Barcelona for three days in February, the current situation with COVID-19 cases in Catalonia and Spain as a whole is such that the circuit has decided to hold the first test behind closed doors.

With the new regulations coming into force, the sport has allowed teams six days of pre-season running instead of three, with the Bahrain weekend due to take place between 10-12 March – a week before the new year begins at the same venue.

Four teams have confirmed the launch of their cars for mid-February prior to the Barcelona test, but the first three days of running in Spain will see the cars likely to be developed significantly after their first flying laps in real life.

The first three days of testing in Spain are also not due to be shown live on TV, with a highlights package set to be made available on the evening of each day of running there.

Without fans, it has been rumoured that Ferrari will launch their car in a brighter colour of red before Barcelona testing, before revealing its full 2022 livery in Bahrain.

 

It is appearing more likely that the test in Bahrain will be televised in some form, but broadcast arrangements in Sakhir are yet to be confirmed.

The teams and drivers will be running radical new cars in 2022, with the Formula 1 regulations having been designed with the aim of the cars being able to follow more easily in dirty air and create better racing.

The switch to ground effect aerodynamics also completely changes the way the cars generate downforce, and the test running will allow the drivers to get a feel for their new machinery, which is expected to be a significantly challenge for the drivers to get used to.

 

FIA to ‘improve’ rear wing tests

Nikolas Tombazis has stated that the FIA's rear wing tests could be improved.