Formula 1 teams will likely set up shop at Bahrain rather than Barcelona for pre-season testing in March as a result of the probable postponement of the season opening Australian GP.

The Circuit de Catalunya was initially earmarked as the venue of choice for winter testing, as in previous years, but the pending postponement of Melbourne’s opening round has led F1 to consider switching its pre-season plans to Bahrain where the 2021 campaign is now expected to kick off on March 28.

The potential change, to which teams have reportedly agreed, would facilitate F1’s logistics amid lingering COVID-19 restrictions.

Teams and freight would travel to Sakhir for three days of testing and then remain on site for the March 28 opening event, an organization that would also lower everyone’s costs.

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F1’s sporting regulations stipulate that pre-season testing must take place between February 1 and a period ending ten days before the first race of the championship.

Testing could therefore be conducted by teams as late as March 16, or two weeks later than the initial March 2-4 dates that were scheduled in Barcelona.

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