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F1 2022 pre-season testing

The 2022 F1 season will begin with a total of six test days. The drivers and teams will first hit the track in Barcelona from 23-25 February, and another three-day test takes place in Bahrain over two weeks later, from 10-12 March.

Verstappen Bahrain © Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool

Where is F1 2022 pre-season testing?

There will be two pre-season tests ahead of the 2022 Formula 1 season. In 2021, the event was held in Bahrain at the Bahrain International Circuit, whilst Barcelona hosted in 2020 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, but both venues will be holding testing this year.

There will be a total of six days of pre-season testing prior to the 2022 season getting underway.

When is F1 2022 pre-season testing?

The first three days of F1 2022 pre-season testing will take place in Barcelona from 23-25 February. There will then be a further three days in Bahrain from 10-12 March. RacingNews365.com will be present to keep you up to date with all of the news and events during pre-season testing.

There are three more days of testing this year than in 2021. This is due to the new technical regulations being introduced into the sport, meaning that the additional pre-season testing will give the teams and drivers extra time to adjust to the new cars.

F1 2022 pre-season testing

Date Location
23-25 February Barcelona
10-12 March Bahrain

F1 2022 pre-season testing on TV

The first test in Barcelona is not going to be broadcast, but Formula 1 will share a highlights summary through their channels at the end of each day. RacingNews365.com will also be present at the circuit and will keep you informed about the events in Spain with a live blog.

When the second test takes place in Bahrain, fans will be able to watch live on F1 TV. In the United Kingdom, viewers can tune in to the pre-season test on Sky Sports F1, and RacingNews365.com will also be present to report on all of the action.

Why does F1 test in Barcelona?

F1 testing has taken place at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for many years. The track's popularity is due to its technical nature; from fast bends to slower hairpins, chicanes and a long straight, there is plenty of variety in the layout.

The venue also provides a convenient location for the F1 teams, as new parts can be delivered by plane within a few hours. If something is finished in the factory in the evening, it can be on the car as soon as the next morning.

Another advantage of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is that the track has remained largely unchanged for a long time, so teams can more easily compare data from the test to that from previous years.

Why does F1 test in Bahrain?

Pre-season testing took place in Bahrain in 2021, as it did ahead of the 2014 campaign. Like the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, the Bahrain International Circuit has the advantage of featuring a range of different corners and speeds.

However, whereas the temperatures at the Spanish venue can sometimes be cold in February, Bahrain usually always has good weather and is ideal in terms of temperature.

Another plus of holding testing in Bahrain is that the first race of the season is held at the same track. This means that the F1 teams do not have to transport their equipment back to the factory when the test is over, but can keep everything there ahead of the Grand Prix. This year, the race takes place just one week after pre-season testing.

What time does F1 2022 pre-season testing start?

2022 pre-season testing in Barcelona will run for three days in a row, and drivers will be allowed on track from 09:00 CET (08:00 GMT) until 13:00 CET (12:00 GMT). There is then a one-hour lunch break, and from 14:00 CET (13:00 GMT) to 18:00 CET (17:00 GMT), the lights go back to green.

In Bahrain, the test also runs over three days. The morning session starts at 08:00 CET (07:00 GMT), while the afternoon session starts at 13:00 CET (12:00 GMT). There is a lunch break in between at 12:00 CET (11:00 GMT). At 17:00 CET (16:00 GMT), the test day comes to a close.

The local time when the test begins in Bahrain will be 10:00, and 19:00 when the day's running ends. This means that the last part of the day will take place under artificial light, just like the Grand Prix, which is being held one week after the final three-day test at the Bahrain International Circuit.

			© Mercedes
	© Mercedes

What do the F1 teams do during pre-season testing?

F1 pre-season testing is even more important than ever in 2022, due to the cars being dramatically different thanks to the wave of new technical regulations introduced into the sport.

Red Bull, Mercedes and the other teams can use one car during the test days, which the drivers have to share. The most important aspect of the test days is the reliability of the new car. Especially this year, with many new parts and much uncertainty, it is especially important to test the car extensively, which is why there will be six test days in 2022.

Should the teams encounter any surprises, they have plenty of time to come up with solutions before the first Grand Prix. All systems and parts will be checked during the first days, and the engine will be tested as well. The engine is running on new fuel for 2022, so it is important to understand how this will affect performance.

In the process, vast amounts of data are collected and analysed back home in the factory. It is very important that the data collected in testing corresponds as closely as possible to the data that the teams have amassed in the wind tunnel prior to the season. If the performance in the wind tunnel correlates with the performance on the track, the signs are that all of the calculations are correct.

To investigate the aerodynamic performance of the car, the F1 teams use different tools. Sometimes cars can be seen with huge 'rakes' attached to them (see photo above), which measure the air currents with sensors.

Additionally, 'flo-viz' is used (see picture below), a kind of liquid that is sprayed onto the car. By seeing how this fluid is dispersed when the car is running, a better picture of the air currents on and around the Formula 1 car can be obtained.

It is only during the second week of testing that the teams will focus more on the competitive element. When the reliability is largely in order, they will start looking for speed. The parts that will be seen on the car then will look more and more like those that will be seen in the first race.

			© Alfa Romeo
	© Alfa Romeo
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