A test in the Middle East is being considered after low temperatures during this year’s pre-seasons tests in Spain meant little meaningful running could be completed.
Although the Jerez circuit in southern Spain usually sees warmer conditions the abrasiveness of the track surface is far beyond what F1 sees at circuits on the racing schedule, making it less useful for testing.
Among the other possibilities under consideration are a test at Bahrain ahead of a season-opening race at the track, or a test at the Yas Marina circuit which hosts the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The major disadvantages of testing further away from the teams’ European bases is the added expense and the increased difficulty of sending out spare parts at short notice.
Losail has never hosted an F1 test or race before but is of suitably high standard to do so.
Few drivers on the grid today have experience of Losail. Nico Hulkenberg, Sergio Perez and Giedo van der Garde do, having participated in a GP2 Asia round at the track in 2009. Hulkenberg and Perez won the two races.
Losail has appeared on the Moto GP calendar since 2004 and has hosted the season-opening race every year since 2007.
Losail International Circuit aerial map: