Qatar set to shape 2014 testing calendar

Qatar set to shape 2014 testing calendar


Losail QatarQatar could be set to welcome Formula One for the first time next season, with Losail Circuit poised to host a pre-season test.

According to Autosport, the move would be to ensure that conditions are ideal for teams to perfect their setups and ensure that the time spent in testing is worthwhile. In 2013, rain affected much of the running in Barcelona, costing the teams valuable track time. To make matters worse, low temperatures during the tail-end of the Spanish winter meant that the Pirelli tyres yielded abnormal data, largely worthless in preparation for the new season.

The move would also lead to Bahrain hosting the opening round of the season. Many teams made their distaste clear when it came to going from Barcelona (which was hit by snow the day after testing concluded) to Australia three weeks later. However, travelling from Qatar to Bahrain will be far simpler, and there will also be little change in conditions.

With the 2014 season heralding new regulations, the teams are looking to organise a fourth pre-season test. Subsequently, there may be two tests held in Spain and two held in Asia, with Abu Dhabi potentially partnering Losail. This would require teams to launch their cars slightly earlier than the beginning of February as per 2013, but they would be willing to comply in order to secure an additional test.

The track in Qatar has a license to host Formula One events, and it welcomed Moto GP last month for the opening round of the season.