There are just 12 days of preseason testing in three separate tests before the F1 circus packs off to Australia, for the Melbourne GP on 18th March. Then there will be one additional test at Mugello after the opening flyaway races. These tests will be open to the public and entry is far cheaper and the spectators are provided a full day of on track action. This makes testing far more attractive to fans. With revised Pirelli tyres and different exhaust systems to test, it seems most teams are aiming for a quick start to testing by bringing their new cars to the first test.
Making this early debut more difficult for this year are the revised rules around crash testing. Typically teams have passed their final crash tests in the days before the first race, but now teams have to have passed all these tests before they can start testing. With initial crash tests being carried out now and continuing into January, any failure of a structure to pass its test first time may impact on the teams ability to attend the first test with their new car. This process of crash testing is a form of homologation, but unlike 2009, teams are free to homologate and crash test new structures at any point. So some teams may opt to accept a heavier component that will pass the tests in order to go testing and have the race-spec lighter pass ready for Melbourne.
Tests Jerez Website Feb 7th – 10th
Barcelona1 Website Feb 21st – 24th
Barcelona2 Website Mar 1st – 4th
Mugello Website May 1st – 3rd
Car Launches Red Bull: 1st test Jerez McLaren: Launch 1st Feb, 1st test Jerez Ferrari: Launch early Feb, 1st test Jerez Mercedes AMG: 1st test Barcelona1 Lotus: Sauber: Launch Feb 6th, 1st test Jerez Force India: Toro Rosso: Williams: 1st test Jerez Caterham: HRT: Marussia: