F1, MotoGP and W Series announce changes to pre-season testing

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Formula One, MotoGP and the W Series have all announced changes to its pre-season programme with F1 relocating the venue of its winter testing from Barcelona to Bahrain.

The postponement of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix saw Bahrain stage the first round of the 2021 FIA Formula One World Championship. The sport has decided that it would relocate the pre-season test in the interest of cost-saving.

The winter testing was originally set to take place at Barcelona between the 2th and 4th of May. As a result of the change to the calendar, the pre-season testing will be held in Bahrain between 12 and 14 March.

It means that the cars will have 11 days before they hit the track again for the first time in the first practice session for the Bahrain Grand Prix. Sakhir last hosted a pre-season testing in 2014 when the sport introduced the hybrid power units.

Dorna Sports, FIM and IRTA have announced the the cancellation of both the Shakedown Test and the Official Sepang Test which was set to take place in Malaysia in February. The cancellation was triggered by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdowns.

MotoGP expects the Qatar Test that would have been the second on-track action during pre-season to go ahead as planned. This test is scheduled to be staged at Losail International Circuit from the 10th to the 12th of March.

The W Series, the international single-seater motor racing championship for female drivers only, has confirmed that it will stage a five-day on-track test at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo, Valencia, Spain, between 26-30 April 2021.

The provisional 2021 W Series calendar will consist of eight Formula 1 support races, including rounds in France, Austria, the United Kingdom, Hungary, Belgium, Netherlands, USA and Mexico.

CEO of W Series, Catherine Bond Muir said: "Our first race of 2021 will take place at Circuit Paul Ricard, France, on 26 June, and April’s five-day on-track session at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo will be the perfect preparation for that rigorous circuit."