After last week's second Formula One group test of the winter was largely ruined by persistent bad weather in southern Spain, teams have apparently been casting around for an alternative ahead of this week's resumption.
Another four days of action are planned for Jerez de la Frontera at what is supposed to be the third of four pre-season tests, but the forecast is far from promising, with rumours that the teams were seriously considering trying to find an alternative venue that would give them a chance of some more dry running in which to continue preparing their cars.
Swiss newspaper Blick
claims that both a return to Valencia's Circuit Ricardo Tormo - the site of the winter's first test - or the newer Portimao facility were both considered, only to be denied by full schedules. So far, the winter programme has seen one wet day among the four spent in Valencia and half of the Jerez test rendered difficult by adverse conditions.
"The other circuits are busy," Sauber team manager Beat Zehnder confirmed, while Ferrari's Felipe Massa
quipped that, only should the rest of 2010 be wet, would the teams be well prepared.
The mixed conditions have not allowed any one team to stamp its authority on pre-season testing, and largely blunted Red Bull's first session, following the launch of the RB6 in Jerez last week.
"It is interesting, even if a clear favourite has not yet emerged," Blick
quoted the returning Michael Schumacher as saying, "I believe that we have with Ferrari, McLaren
and Red Bull
as frontrunners, but the Sauber looks very good."