Part 2 of the winter testing is almost underway and all teams would be hoping to get in some laps under their belt after the torrid weather in Barcelona last week.
All teams combined could put in 600 fewer laps than the 2017 testing, raising serious concerns over Barcelona’s future with respect to testing.
Teams and drivers were forced to remain indoors last week, with snow and sleet hitting Barcelona and there was a lot of talk going around about maybe shifting testing from Barcelona to Bahrain, as it is always sunny and dry in Bahrain.
It would be a paradigm shift if Barcelona is dropped as the testing circuit of the F1 and Bahrain takes its place, as all teams will have to change strategies, adjust their freight costs and come up with a new logistics solution.
Hamilton though wants the testing to stay in Barcelona, as he loves the city.
He spoke to the media before Test Two, hoping to get some important laps under his belt.
“Hopefully we’ll get plenty of running.” Hamilton said.
“Ultimately this week there was questions of whether or not we should be in Bahrain where firstly the weather is always good and you can test all day long, so you can get a lot of testing done because the sun goes into the evening.
“But I like being here in Barcelona. It’s a beautiful city so hopefully the good weather comes.” he added.
Haas boss, Guenther Steiner though wants the F1 authorities to take into account all problems that could be caused by the ‘big shift’.
“The cost is one of the elements going to Bahrain. It’s not easy, but also the logistics if you need something,” Steiner said.
“You guys have no idea how much stuff is coming here every day. Every day there is stuff coming for the car, it’s brutal.
“From England or from Italy you just put it in a van, they drive and eight hours later they are here. From England it’s 12 or 14, whatever it is, but you can put it on a plane as hand luggage. We have got people going up and down every day.
“If it is Bahrain, you need to get prepared. It’s the same for everybody and we’d need to get better prepared, but that’s one of the issues. Then the next thing is some teams would put on a jet every night to go back and forward – and some cannot.” he concluded.
While weather wise it would make sense to shift from Barcelona to Bahrain, however, freight costs and logistics issues could pose a huge problem for all stakeholders involved.