The Sepang International Circuit looks set to join the test schedule in the early season three-week gap between the Australian and Malaysian Grands Prix. It's believed that all 11 teams will attend the three-day test from March 27th to 29th, which is better than having to fly back to Europe prior to the Malaysian race on April 8th.
"It (the testing session) is further recognition of our efforts to make the circuit in Sepang as a hub of motorsports in Asia," said Sepang spokesperson Azhar Ghazali, according to Malaysia's Star newspaper.
"Almost all the F1 teams are based in Europe and it would make sense for them to commit their personnel to test the cars in Sepang instead of flying them back to the other side of the globe."
It seems that Bahrain will also once again be a test venue, prior to the Melbourne season-opener on March 18th, with so far Renault and McLaren reportedly planning to visit the track in late February. Ferrari and Honda tested there last winter.
Most of the pre-season work is focused at Valencia and Barcelona, the circuits scheduled to be busiest, while the UK's Silverstone track may be in use depending on the weather. Testing recommences in Spain on January 16th at Valencia and Jerez.