The clue is in the name “winter test” for Formula 1. Winter testing is done in preparation for the new season, yet it does not always go to plan.
During the pre-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya in 2018, the morning session was cancelled in its entirety due to snow hitting the track. But it was not the first time the elements of nature prevented testing.
On 12th February, 2009, three teams: Ferrari, Toyota and BMW Sauber tested in Bahrain precisely to avoid the risk of rain on the European continent drastically reducing test mileage.
However, it was sandstorms that ended up preventing them from running their cars. All three teams drove just one lap before the red flag was raised.
On 12th February, 2005, a test session for Michelin was halted for a very unusual reason. The Jerez circuit was made wet artificially, which was the immediate cause of the problems.
The heavily water-laden watering truck slid off the track on the wet asphalt and ended up in the gravel pit. Due to the enormous weight of the water truck, there was no way it could get out of there under its own power.
At 2024, testing will only take place in Bahrain, but like 2009, that too is no guarantee of non-stop action. Any delay is extra costly, as a total of only three test days are scheduled between 21st and 23rd February.