2011 F1 testing dates confirmed

2011 F1 season

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The F1 teams have agreed the test dates for the 2011 F1 season.

Contrary to earlier reports the teams will not be testing at the Algarve International Circuit in Portimao, Portugal. They will test at Bahrain in the week before the first race of the season.

Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi16th-17th November 2010Young drivers’ test
Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi19th-20th November 2010Pirelli tyre test
Circuit de Valencia Ricardo Tormo, Spain1st-3rd February 2011
Jerez, Spain10-13th February 2011
Circuit de Catalunya, Spain18th-21st February 2011
Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain3rd-6th March 2011

The young drivers’ test will be the last time F1 cars run on Bridgestone tyres before new tyre supplier Pirelli take over.

Use the F1 Fanatic Google Calendar to keep track of upcoming race dates and test sessions.

Read more: F1 2011 Season

Image © Force India F1 Team

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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57 comments on “2011 F1 testing dates confirmed”

  1. Bahrain… that’s going to make that race interesting (read:processional).

    1. It can’t be any worse than this season. In fact it was said that testing there would have helped the race a lot as everyone was very conservative having no idea how people would get on with high fuel and the new tires. They might be doing us a favour race wise by testing there before hand.

  2. I’m getting my Bore-rain and Bore-celona puns ready.

    1. either that or you’re developing a south african accent…

    2. It should be fun if it would be rain in Bahrain!

    3. Bahrain is usually a very good race for entertainment. Last year was the only time that it was a rubbish race. Oh well, doesn’t matter now anyway considering they have cancelled it

  3. Why will Bahrain be boring? Because they tested there? Sure, that holds true for Barcelona – but that’s because Barcelona is a medium circuit in terms of setup with a stable climate year-round.

    1. While in Bahrain the climate is very unstable with rain storms and ice :-D

      1. I just imagine it :) Mud would be all around xDD

        1. Does anyone know how often it rains in Bahrain?

          1. A Gp2 Asia week-end had to be canceled there a couple of years ago (it was somewhere in december I think). The problem is that when it rains, the water just stays there because there is no provision for draining the water away.

  4. You looked at the different layouts that Bahrain could use to make the race more interesting. Maybe they should run a different layout to the GP circuit so they are not all set up for the race. The same goes for Barcelona. That should use the chicane-free layout or something totally different

    1. Or the “Club” configuration. But yes, different configurations from the main event would be a very good idea.

    2. Why not persuade them to reverse the course ?

      Couldn’t be any more boring than the current set up….

  5. Why Barcelona and not Aragon or Portimao?

    1. Barcelona is pretty much recognised as a full areo track, so the teams like to test their areo efficiency there…

  6. UGH, Spain, AGAIN They get 3 test sessions, and 2 races? I know Alsonso is popular, but this is ridiculous! There is plenty more warm dry countries about, as we saw in Jerez(?) the rain still falls…….

    Personally, I’d use Barcalona, Portimao, Bahrain and Istanbul, and probably phase out Istanbul to just a testing venue seeing as it doesn’t seem to pull in the crowds, they can always build a new turn 8 somewhere else!

    1. It’s a bit far from the team bases to be effective as a testing venue I think.

    2. This is exactly what I was going to say. Spain already get 2 races, why not take testing to countries that don’t have a race?

    3. It has nothing to do with Alonso. Teams have always tested in Spain, especially at Barcelona.

      1. I imagine it also helps to test on the same tracks each year to provide a good reference point. It would be nice to see more variety though.

      2. agreed.. just like motoGP where they always test at Sepang.

    4. UGH, Spain, AGAIN They get 3 test sessions, and 2 races? I know Alsonso is popular, but this is ridiculous! There is plenty more warm dry countries about, as we saw in Jerez(?) the rain still falls…….

      Barcelona and Jerez have been traditional testing venues for years. Long before Alonso was in the sport, much less before he became popular. Formula 1 tests there because the climate is fairly stable year-round. The rest of Europe might be in Winter’s grasp, but Spain remains fairly sunny year-round.

      1. ERM…. are you sure about that Spanish weather PM ?

        1. Well that part of Spain anyway where the testing takes place

          1. The rain in Spain falls mainly on the planes… So don’t fly in an open aircraft, you’ll get wet :P

  7. I think F1 teams are losing a great oportunity of testing in Portimão, it´s a great track with all types of corners and can´t have much better weather in the winter.

    1. Agreed, I would like to know why on earth they insist on those 3 Spanish tracks when Portimão and Aragon are close by.

    2. It’s not about the types of corners at the circuit. It’s about the aerodynamic configuration – teams want a circuit that will allow them to test as much downforce as possible.

  8. Four proper test sessions? This is ridiculous. F1 is a sport. You don’t see football cutting the number of pre-season friendlies because they cost money to the teams.

    No testing in the whole of December and January? Pathetic. Testing represents a great way for those without much money to see F1 cars up close for next to nothing.

    1. Hmm…cost of a sunday ticket for Silverstone vs cost of flying out to Spain, booking into a hotel for however many night and getting in to the circuit to watch the testing…not a lot in it I’d say…

      1. Have you been to testing before? Give me a proper race to watch any day.

        1. Heh, I remember at the beginning of the year when people saw the crowds in Spain and suggested turning testing into a points-scoring event …

    2. Money has to be spent somewhere and team members need to see their families. Give me more races and fewer tests every time.

      1. I don’t think you’ve quite seen my point.

        Whilst you’d like more races every time, it’s probably because you can afford to go to the odd one every year. Many can’t.

        Testing at Silverstone was regular, and free (until they charged £30 for one test in 2008). It really was a cost efficient way of seeing the cars up close.

        Formula One shouldn’t just be for the richest in society.

    3. You can’t compare F1 testing with Football using the cost argument.

      Football teams make money out of pre season friendlies which is why you see the top teams going on tours of the Far East or America.

      1. Ignore the big four in the Premier League. The majority of football teams don’t go on tours to Asia and America. They have friendlies against lower league opposition, giving the fans a great opportunity to see big teams up close.

        Perhaps F1 should follow their lead?

    4. The teams are allowed to do 15,000km of testing a year, which is about twice the distance they actually race. By your analogy, that’s like a Premiership football team playing 80 pre-season friendly matches. If anything teams test too much. Cut the mileage and give us some extra races instead.

      1. Wow, I hadn’t realised it was that much. I’d barely registered the 15,000km figure before but didn’t realise it amounted to that much!

        I remember Hamilton being asked a few years back that extra races weren’t a problem for him because they’d just be doing testing anyway. Then the testing ban came, but it illustrates the point: drivers would like more racing than testing!

      2. You’ve obviously misunderstood my point. It’s about access for those with little money to see F1 cars up close.

        Where’s the problem with that?

        1. There is definitely a case for making F1 more accessible to the “average” fan, but filling the calendar with pointless test sessions is not a viable solution IMO.

          Ticket prices are too high, but the solution to that is to lower ticket prices, not allow the teams to test endlessly and spend themselves into oblivion. I think ticket prices have become unsustainable in recent years and will come down “naturally” as people stop going to GPs. We’re already seeing “classic” venues like Spa struggling to fill the stands – knocking a few euros off the price of a ticket would definitely help in that regard. And changing the weekend format to give fans value for money would help, too – such as making Friday an unrestricted test day.

          1. I agree that ticket prices are too high but isn’t this caused by the fees Ecclestone charges the circuits to host a Grand Prix. As the only income the tracks get out of a GP is the tickets, the prices have to high.

  9. Younger Hamilton
    29th October 2010, 12:45

    Now FIA have reduced the Pre season testing days from 14 to 12 if im right and thats even worse than this year’s pre season testing

  10. I miss a lot my days off from work to climb to Mugello circuit and see some Ferrari tests, or also some collective testing.
    When Scuderia decided to close the doors there was some good hidden spots you could attend the run from…

  11. Don’t they understand that it can rain everywhere. I will laugh really loud if it rains in Jerez, Barcelona or Valencia.

  12. Remember days gone by though, when teams could test their car as much as they liked throughout the season?

  13. Don’t support the idea of testing in Spain & Bahrain on track where the races will be held.

    In that “Pirelli tyre test” & the “Young Drivers Program” will they allow two cars to run or there will be traditional one car per team?

    1. Iirc it was one car last year, they tended to swap drivers half way through the day.

  14. Keith you want more races rather than testing? I would compromise, I would keep the races at 20 per season, and have it always 20 so it’s a standard, like a football season.

    I would also have non calendar races in pre season, they would be held in countries with no F1 race (plus a London street race :P ), these would add something to the testing, and could be an excuse to televise testing, just imagine 5 hrs testing ib the morning at Portimau, then in the afternoon the teams race for no reason!!

    1. Where would they get the money from?

      The television rights wouldn’t jump that much because while a large group would tune in for the race, 90% of the people would tune in for quali as well. 30% or something would tune in for the practice sessions. What percentage of those who watch the race would tune in for 2 cars going around the track and then going away for an hour. Not many… I would a bit, but even still 3 days of testing broadcast no one wil watch it, so no ads wil be on and BBC wont be able to flog it to other countries for broadcasting because no one will watch it (australia for example doesn’t even get practices’.. just quali and a race..). So no money for it, so they spend a heap on nothing.

      Added to that, teams hide there pace. So no team would go out and try to win except those wanting sponsers. So it would be RBR, Mclaren, ferrari and mercedes hiding themselves, renault running around with big ‘raikkonen thought of us’ boards and sauber blitzing the fielding.

  15. It would be better if tests would take place in tracks which doesnt held GP

  16. Why is Portimao or Estoril not on the F1 calender? Either of these circuits would be welcome replacements for the Valencia street circuit.

  17. Whoa! Interesting discussion on the tests. And I thought tests are just tests.

    I doubt they hold the testings in Spain just coz of Alonso’s popularity. LOL!

  18. I still think that
    1. Off-season testing sessions should only take place on tracks not holding a Grand Prix.
    2. Mid-season testing should be allowed on Mondays after a race.

  19. I like the idea of testing on Mondays. That way we will see faster developments and better races.

    1. agreed, i dont see how monday testing at several of the GPs would cost that much extra

  20. My monday thinking for 2011:-
    Not bahrain as season just started.
    Not Oz as temp circuit
    Not KL as quick turnaround required to China
    1 China 17th April
    2 Turkey, (not like they need the circuit for anything else!)9th May
    3 Catalunya,23rd May
    Not Monaco as temp circuit
    Not Canada as temp circuit
    Not Valencia as temp circuit
    4 Silverstone, 11th July
    5 Nurburgring 25th July
    Not Hungary as circuit is specialist and factory closing for August
    6 Spa 29th August
    7 Monza 12th Sept
    Not Singapore as temp circuit
    Not Suzuka as quick turnaround for Korea
    8 Korea 17th Oct

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