Formula 1 teams will meet tomorrow night to make a final decision on whether the final preseason test in Bahrain will go ahead.
The Barcelona test concludes on Monday and sources indicate that it is impossible to delay making a call any longer because of the problems that could arise from uncertainty over whether to go to Bahrain or remain in Spain. Barcelona and Jerez are strong candidates to hold the replacement test and if Bahrain were dropped, teams would need to put into place alternative logistical plans as soon as the test finishes tomorrow.
FOTA's sporting group met on Friday night to put contingency plans into place, with Red Bull team principal Christian Horner saying that the fate of the Bahrain test would be linked to any decision made on whether the grand prix would go ahead.
"It's obviously a really difficult situation in Bahrain, but we have complete trust in Bernie, FOM and the FIA to make the right decision," said Horner on Friday. "They will only send us there if it is safe.
"It would be a great shame to lose the race, but it's not the teams' decision – it's down to the promoter. Bernie [Ecclestone] and the FIA will have much more information than us and we will trust their decisions."
Although the test decision is likely to be made before a definitive choice has made on the F1 season opener, it is still likely to be guided partly by the commercial rights holder and the sport's governing body. The FIA and Ecclestone do not have a direct say in the test, as it is organized and run by the teams.
Paddock sources in Barcelona were skeptical as to whether going to Bahrain to test would be the right decision, with most dubious over whether safety could be assured. This means that the most likely result of tomorrow's meeting will be the scheduling of an alternative four days of running.