In another illustration of why a severely restricted pre-season test window is ineffective in Formula 1, rain is predicted for the four-day test meeting at Jerez this week. This means that at least two of only four allowed pre-season tests will be rain-soaked. While this will give the teams an opportunity to experiment with wet set-ups and tires, it will limit the overall value of the test. With so little testing time available, what the teams really need to do is collect as much data as possible under dry conditions.
According to current foecasts, the worst of the rain will hit on Thursday, with showers falling on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Apparently, some of the teams explored the idea of relocating the test to Barcelona or Portimao, where the weather was expected to be better, but this idea was ultimately rejected as being logistically impractical.
This week’s test meeting, which will be the third for four pre-season test, will be the first in which the new Lotus team will take part. Virgin Racing, another of the four new teams slated to appear in 2010, made its test debut at Jerez last week. The other two new teams, Campos and USF1, have yet to take to the track, and might not do so during the limited pre-season window. In fact, they have yet to officially launch their cars. There has been continued speculation that they might not be sufficiently prepared to make the grid for the opening race in Bahrain next month, although both teams have denied this.