Pirelli prefers Bahrain, Abu Dhabi for 2017 F1 pre-season testing

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Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery would like to see Formula 1 pre-season testing take place in either Bahrain or Abu Dhabi next year where the weather is more stable and suitable for tire evaluation.

Pre-season testing traditionally takes place in Spain, but was moved to Bahrain in 2014 so that teams could be assured of hot, dry running.

In a bid to cut costs and ease the logistical challenge of getting to the Middle East, testing returned to Spain last year, but Hembery would like to see either the Bahrain International Circuit or the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi host running ahead of the 2017 season.

“We would prefer to go somewhere like Bahrain or Abu Dhabi,” Hembery told the official F1 website.

“The temperatures will be representative and we know the tracks very well. We definitely would want to go to representative tracks.”

Pirelli has been conducting extensive testing in the past few months ahead of the introduction of a wider tire compound for 2017 that is also more durable.

“We will be on the track for the first time [with the wider 2017 tires] in the first four days of August, working with a hybrid car and not with an exact 2017 car,” Hembery said.

“But that will give us a good guideline of how the tyres are performing. And that will give a lot of answers to a lot of questions.

“There is, of course, already a huge amount of work and indoor testing going on in our factory. I am hopeful that we will give the sport what it wants in 2017.”