MONTMELO, Spain — The third day of pre-season testing has been postponed and could be a write off after the teams were greeted by snow and freezing temperatures on their arrival at the Circuit de Catalunya on Wednesday morning.
Ten minutes ahead of the start of the session the circuit confirmed the day’s testing would be postponed until the medical helicopter is able to operate, potentially resulting in an extensive delay as snow was continuing to fall at the time. But even if the medical helicopter is given clearance, it is unlikely cars will be sent out in the conditions, with a thin layer of slush in some places on the track and soaking wet conditions elsewhere.
The majority of teams had already curtailed their test plans due to cold weather on the opening two days of testing, but conditions were significantly worse on Wednesday morning.
On Tuesday evening Haas team boss Guenther Steiner said there would be no point in running in the forecast conditions for Wednesday.
“You don’t learn anything, we would never run in these circumstance and the only thing you do is risk the cars and being the first test of the season we are lean on spares and we cannot risk it. At the moment it doesn’t look much better on Thursday. It’s getting warmer, but still wet.”
There was some consideration for adding an extra day to testing on Friday when the temperatures are forecast to return to the seasonal average of 15C. But such a move would require agreement from all teams as well as Williams agreeing to scrap a filming day it has booked at the circuit on that day. As of Tuesday evening, no such agreement had been forthcoming.
“I know that there have been some conversations about potentially extending the test because of the weather,” Claire Williams said on Tuesday. “I don’t think every team is there lobbying for the test to continue as far as I’m aware. I think there are a few teams that would like it to continue but we do have a scheduled filming day, we have booked the circuit and obviously that is important to us.
“I know Ferrari have the same scheduled on Saturday so maybe its the case that if that was the general consensus with people wanting to extent the test that maybe we look at moving it a day into next week. But nothing is official yet and we will always have conversations about it.”
Further updates can be found on ESPN’s live blog.