BARCELONA – The start of the third session of preseason Formula-1 testing at the Barcelona Circuit was postponed on Wednesday because of poor track conditions caused by low temperatures and heavy snowfall.
Officials evaluated the track and postponed the start scheduled for 9.00 am, as in some places snow had settled and the gravel traps and rumblestrips were under an inch of snow.
With the circuit’s helicopter also unable to take off for emergencies, the start was postponed until the weather improves, although forecasts predicted colder conditions and more snow.
Circuit officials had discussed the possibility of shifting the testing on Friday if a day was lost this week, but Williams have booked the circuit on Friday for filming, meaning teams are set to lose one day of testing this week if conditions don’t improve on Wednesday.
The next session will be held at the same circuit next week from Tuesday to Friday.
On Wednesday morning at around 9am local time, the red flag was up, with the air temperature at 0.1 degrees Celsius (32.18 degrees Fahrenheit), track temperature at 0.6 degrees, 85 percent humidity and a forecast of snow.
Fernando Alonso (McLaren) and Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) were set to test their cars on Wednesday after the latter did not get onto the track on Tuesday as his teammate Valtteri Bottas was at the wheel. Hamilton was expected to test alone throughout the 8-hour session on Wednesday.
The rest of Wednesday’s planned line-up included Romain Grosjean (Haas), Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari), Marcus Ericsson (Sauber), Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull), Niko Hulkenberg (Renault,) Lance Stroll (Williams), Sergio Perez (Force India) and Brendon Hartley (Toro Rosso).