PARIS (AP) — Formula One confirmed Wednesday that preseason testing will begin in Spain next month followed by a session in Bahrain in early March.

The oft-used Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on the outskirts Barcelona will host the first test from Feb. 22-25.

The second test will be held in Bahrain from March 10-12 — ahead of the season-opening race there on March 20 at the Bahrain International Circuit.

F1 is set to introduce a new set of rules to even the competition — such as budget caps — and the 2022 cars will feature newly-designed front and rear wings and 3D-shaped floors, while Italian manufacturer Pirelli is bringing bigger tires.

Teams ran on 13-inch tires in 2021 and will switch to an 18-inch model. Pirelli boss Mario Isola is confident this will lead to “less overheating, less degradation” and allow drivers to fight harder on track, rather than worrying too much about tire wear.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen won a thrilling title last year with a last-lap overtake of seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes in the final race at the Abu Dhabi GP.

Mercedes had won the previous seven drivers' and constructors' championships in an era of total dominance.


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