Formula 1 pre-season testing is set to remain in Europe for 2019 despite some wishes to move the running to Bahrain, with various tracks now being considered for next year.

F1 teams were frustrated by the cold conditions in Barcelona through pre-season testing earlier this year, with an entire day being lost in the first week when snow hit the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

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Concerns about the weather conditions led officials to consider moving the tests to Bahrain, which last hosted pre-season running in 2014, despite some unease about the costs involved.

Team managers and sporting directors met with F1 officials on Saturday in Hungary to discuss pre-season plans, but Williams technical chief Paddy Lowe confirmed a move to Bahrain was no longer under consideration.

"As far as I know, that's not going to happen now. I think during this weekend it's become clear there isn't enough support to do it," Lowe said.

"It's being discussed where exactly to go. There was a meeting today about it in fact, this afternoon. The calendar will just move forward by a week. We'll do the same, four [days] and four [days], but a week earlier."

Lowe said that officials were now discussing which track to use for pre-season testing, naming Jerez as an option following the track's resurfacing. The circuit last hosted pre-season running back in 2014 before the two Bahrain tests.

"It'll be in Europe. I think Barcelona is suggested, Jerez is an option, and there may be other places to be considered. But they will be the two most likely.

"I think there's a reluctance to split [circuits] because then there's a lot of cost moving between. You can imagine moving the whole circus up the road."

Renault technical director Nick Chester warned of the difficulty of getting parts to and from Bahrain, naming Barcelona as his preferred destination for running next winter.

"As long as you're running at a sensible track, it doesn't matter too much for us. The only difficulty with Bahrain is that it's a bit hard to get parts out there," Chester said.

"If you're pushing everything late, getting your updates there, getting your spares there is a bit more of a hassle. But it's not a massive deal really.

"[Barcelona] is easier and still a good baseline track for us. We don't tend to lose much with weather. We can lose a day or two."

 

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