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2016 Formula One testing will begin in February


The announcement comes after the WMSC revealed several rule changes and released a changed provisional calendar for F1.

Sebastian Vettel 2015 testing Barcelona Catalunya Ferrari
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya earlier this year

The WMSC (World Motor Sport Council), the arm of the FIA responsible for deciding all rules and regulations in motorsport, announced earlier this week that the 2016 Formula One calendar would be brought forward, with the Australian Grand Prix to be held two weeks prior to its original date. An array of rule changes were also announced at the conference. 

Several teams were unhappy with the news, with two weeks of pre-season testing due to be held at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in March. Williams chief engineer Rob Smedley expressed his disdain at the decision, saying in a press conference that it would be an arduous task for teams to sort out the logistics of these plans, which needed to be amended at short notice.

Teams have now agreed to move pre-season testing up to February instead, reports

Testing will now take place in the last week of February, and teams will be forced to work on a tighter schedule as they now have a smaller gap to work with between testing and the first race of the year, the Australian Grand Prix.

2016 will also see a record 21 races, with the Grand Prix at Baku, Azerbaijan, joining the calendar. The first in-season testing is likely to take place following the Spanish Grand Prix, which the FIA have provisionally scheduled for the weekend of the 15th of May. The second test will likely be post-season, following the conclusion of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix next November.

A new team, Haas, will join the fray this year and several teams are looking to significantly improve their cars after lacklustre performances this year. There have also been significant changes in F1, and teams will look

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