Unexpected rain during today’s Formula 1 test in Bahrain meant teams were unable to to run for several hours as they had not brought any suitable tyres.
However some rain fell before Sunday’s race and further rainfall occured on Tuesday during the test. With no suitable tyres to run on, teams stayed in their garages for several hours.
“The rain was a bit of a surprise,” admitted Mercedes’ chief race engineer Andrew Shovlin. “It wasn’t forecast but ended up costing us four or five hours of our programme.
“We selected the tyres for this test back in December and not expecting rain, we chose only dry tyres. So, once the track was properly wet we didn’t have any option but to wait for it to dry again.”
“It was a very frustrating day for everyone here in Bahrain,” added Williams’ senior race engineer Dave Robson. “Conditions first thing this morning looked reasonable following the dust clouds yesterday and some overnight rain.
“However, some further rain meant that little happened between mid-morning and early evening when conditions improved again. We were able to complete some aero testing early in the morning with George, concentrating on data gathering with the rake instrumentation. We then started a performance programme before the rain came.”
The disruption to today’s running means the teams should have plenty of slick tyres available for tomorrow’s test, which is forecast to remain dry.
When last year’s pre-season test at the Circuit de Catalunya was affected by snow several teams suggested moving more future tests to track in drier climates such as Bahrain. However they returned to the Spanish venue for this year’s pre-season test and all eight days were unaffected by wet weather.
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