Pre-season testing allows F1 teams to fine-tune their cars ahead of the upcoming season. With an extra race on the calendar this year, winter testing has been reduced by removing the in-season tests. Testing has also been reduced from two tests of four days to two tests of three days.
Cars will be put through their paces at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona.
When is F1 pre-season testing?
The first series of F1 tests runs from February 19-21. The second series of testing will take place from February 26-28. Both sessions run rom 8am to 12pm and then 1pm to 5pm UK time.
How to watch F1 pre-season testing
Fans can watch the action live on Sky Sports F1 throughout the UK. Existing Sky Sports customers can live stream the race via the Sky Go app. However, non-subscription holders can stream the action via NOW TV by purchasing a Sky Sports pass. The official Formula 1 website will provide the latest timesheets and data throughout the entirety of winter testing, while F1TV Pro subscribers will also be able to watch live coverage of the entire first and second pre-season tests which is then followed by a one-hour review show on a daily basis.
The drivers, whilst building up their own fitness for the demanding year ahead of them, will be tasked with collecting valuable data for the team as they simultaneously look for reassurances that their car is an improvement on their 2019 models and address weaknesses before they potentially threaten to stunt the rate of progression throughout the 2020 campaign.
It is only natural for Formula 1 fans to see which team are quickest come the end of pre-season testing, but you only need to look at Ferrari’s recent winter dominance to know that can still very easily lead to zero World Championships come the end of the season. Speed will always grab the headlines, but arguably most important at this very early stage in the 2020 schedule is the reliability of the car.
The drivers will be carrying out a whole host of programmes, including qualification and race simulation runs, to give teams an idea of what to expect from their car for the year ahead.
F1 2020 calendar in full
March 13-15 Australian Grand Prix, Melbourne
March 20-22 Bahrain Grand Prix, Sakhir
April 3-5 Vietnamese Grand Prix, Hanoi
April 17-19 Chinese Grand Prix, Shanghai
May 1-3 Dutch Grand Prix, Zandvoort
May 8-10 Spanish Grand Prix, Catalunya
May 21-24 Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo
June 5-7 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Baku
June 12-14 Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal
June 26-28 French Grand Prix, Le Castellet
July 3-5 Austrian Grand Prix, Spielberg
July 17-19 British Grand Prix, Silverstone
July 31-August 2 Hungarian Grand Prix, Budapest
August 28-30 Belgian Grand Prix, Spa-Francorchamps
September 4-6 Italian Grand Prix, Monza
September 18-20 Singapore Grand Prix
September 25-27 Russian Grand Prix, Sochi
October 9-11 Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka
October 23-25 United States Grand Prix, Austin
October 30-November 1 Mexican Grand Prix, Mexico City
November 13-15 Brazilian Grand Prix, Sao Paulo
November 27-29 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yas Marina