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F1 teams stay on in Bahrain for first in-season test of 2017

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While Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix may have marked the completion of Formula 1’s first back-to-back of the year, all 10 teams are not on their way back to base just yet as they gear up for the opening in-season test of 2017.

In-season testing has been brought forward in 2017, with the traditional first two-day test being shifted from Barcelona to Bahrain.

Teams will enjoy track time on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Bahrain International Circuit, working to dial their cars in and evaluate any updates for introduction at the Russian Grand Prix on April 30.

All teams are required to allocate at least two days of their in-season running to young drivers (classified as those with no more than two F1 races to their name), with a further two days planned following the Hungarian Grand Prix at the start of August.

Ferrari is set to allocate one of its days in Bahrain to Pirelli tire running, helping to develop its 2018 compounds as part of a season-long program.

Here is who each team will be running in Bahrain over the next two days.

Mercedes
Tuesday: Lewis Hamilton
Wednesday: Valtteri Bottas

Ferrari
Tuesday: Antonio Giovinazzi
Wednesday: Sebastian Vettel

Red Bull
Tuesday: Daniel Ricciardo
Wednesday: Pierre Gasly

Force India
Tuesday: Alfonso Celis Jr.
Wednesday: Esteban Ocon (AM), Sergio Perez (PM)

Williams
Tuesday: Lance Stroll (AM), Felipe Massa (PM)
Wednesday: Gary Paffett

McLaren
Tuesday: Oliver Turvey
Wednesday: Stoffel Vandoorne

Toro Rosso
TBC

Haas
TBC

Renault
TBC

Sauber
Tuesday: Marcus Ericsson
Wednesday: Pascal Wehrlein

Ricciardo set to see Dale Jr.’s final Texas ride in two weeks (VIDEO)

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We’ve written before about Daniel Ricciardo’s love of Dale Earnhardt and his love of the No. 3, which Ricciardo has selected as his permanent number for the duration of his Formula 1 career. And additionally, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has offered up the opportunity that one day Ricciardo could race a JR Motorsports car in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition, and Ricciardo has said he’d be up for it.

And although Earnhardt Jr. has only used the No. 3 on a handful of occasions in his career in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Ricciardo knows how much the number means to the NASCAR veteran as he prepares for his final few starts in the Cup Series the tail-end of this year.

After the Mexican Grand Prix next week, Ricciardo is set to stay in North America for the off-week between the Mexican and Brazilian Grands Prix.

In that break, he said he’ll see Earnhardt Jr. in person at the Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway (Sunday, Nov. 5, 2 p.m. ET, NBCSN) to ensure he gets to see him before he retires from full-time competition.

Ricciardo explained his planning during Thursday’s pre-race edition of the NBC Sports Group original digital series Paddock Pass, speaking to NBCSN’s Will Buxton at the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas in Austin.

“Well I’ll see him for the first time in Dallas. I’m gonna go to the NASCAR race in two weeks time at Texas Motor Speedway,” Ricciardo told NBCSN.

“Yeah, so, I gotta see him race before he hangs up the helmet.

“The Earnhardt family is a huge name in motorsport, not only in America but all over the world. Yeah I wish him well.”

Ricciardo is also optimistic he’ll get the chance to do a helmet swap with Earnhardt Jr. at the event.

“Hopefully I get to see him perform well in Texas. I’m gonna try to do a helmet swap with him. We’ll see how we go.”

Stay tuned for more on this over the coming weeks.