In a bid to reduce costs, new regulations for 2016 will cut pre-season testing from 12 to 8 days, with the year's first test scheduled at Circuit to Catalunya from March 1-4, approximately one month before the season gets underway in Australia.
Jerez had in the past often been the venue of choice for F1 teams as its location in southern Spain ensured clement weather while a much colder climate could potentially dominate proceedings Barcelona at that time of the year.
The tests are also scheduled during the week so as not to force the organizer to increase security, something which would be necessary had the running been scheduled on weekends attended by a larger number of fans.
One wonders why Formula 1, which is currently in dire need of some crowd boosting, would deliberately deprive fans of the joy of attending a pre-season test during the weekend. Apparently the team's monies take precedence over the promotion of the sport...
Click here for FIA President Jean Todt's thoughts on the current state of F1