McLaren and Force India have both withdrawn from the scheduled tyre test that will be held by Pirelli in Bahrain next week, meaning that just four teams will be present to assess the 2014 prototype compounds.
The FIA gave its blessing to the test yesterday in order to avoid a repeat of the “Tyregate” scandal that occurred back in May, and confirmed that six teams would be travelling to the Bahrain International Circuit for a three day test next week. As well as McLaren and Force India, Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes and Toro Rosso had all confirmed that they would be attending the test.
However, it appears that both McLaren and Force India have had a change of heart. A spokesperson from McLaren confirmed to Sky Sports that the team would not be attending the test, whilst a representative from Force India confirmed the same news when contacted by Richland F1 this evening.
The move may come as a surprise to some as the teams were expected to jump at the opportunity to test the tyres. However, the 2013 cars may not provide enough relevant data for next season given the seismic change in the regulations, thus making it redundant. Another factor that had to be considered was the cost of attending the test, which may have been a concern for Lotus, Sauber, Caterham and Marussia.
Nevertheless, the test is still set to take place in Bahrain from December 17th-19th in what will be the last F1 running of the calendar year.
Images courtesy of Octane Photographic.