Published On: Wed, Feb 28th, 2018

F1 testing demands too 'brutal' to use Bahrain instead of Spain – Haas

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Haas team boss Gunther Steiner says the “brutal” logistical demands of Formula 1 pre-season testing would have made going to Bahrain impractical for smaller teams.

Bahrain last hosted pre-season testing in 2014, although discussions were held in 2016 about returning to Sakhir before F1 ultimately decided to stick with Barcelona.

However, the first two days of 2018 testing in Spain were blighted by cold weather, with temperatures failing to rise above four degrees celsius on Tuesday, before the arrival of snow delayed the start of Wednesday’s running.

Why F1 testing threw teams a curveball on Tuesday

Steiner said the fact parts are being delivered to teams daily from their bases in Europe makes Barcelona a practical venue, and he added that flying components out to Bahrain would add considerable expense for smaller teams in particular.

“The cost is one of the elements of going to Bahrain, it’s not easy, but also the logistics,” Steiner explained.

“For example, for us, the first year we were here [in 2016], it was talked about going to Bahrain or Abu Dhabi.

“That would be a no-no if you are new and you need to fly something somewhere.

“You guys have no idea how much stuff is coming here every day for the car. It’s brutal.

“From England or from Italy, they put [components] in a van and they drive eight hours, they are here. We have people going up and down every day.

“If it’s in Bahrain, you need to get prepared, it’s the same for everybody.

“But the next thing is, some teams would put a jet on every night to go back and forward.”

It’s understood discussions were held about cancelling Wednesday’s test day and rearranging it for another time when conditions are expected to be warmer, but this would have required unanimous agreement between the teams.

Steiner said: “A few people tried to do something, but there was always from somewhere, ‘no’. Can you imagine two of us agreeing on something, never mind 10?

“It needs to be unanimous, it would need to change something in the sporting regulations, we cannot just say we change something.

“I think the FIA would do it, but we need to apply for it. But if we can’t come to an agreement between us [teams], there’s no point getting the FIA involved.”

Force India technical director Andrew Green told Autosport testing in Bahrain would have a significant impact on teams’ winter schedules.

“If we went to Bahrain it means the car production schedule has to change because of it,” he told Autosport.

“That’s a big thing for us, to try to shift a week for car build, especially when we were squeezed to get here with the need to integrate the halo into the design, let alone to get it out a week earlier to allow the freight to go to Bahrain.

“We’re going to have four nice days next week and that’s fine for us.”

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