Aug.26 (GMM/ Just over two months after the 2011 season wraps up in Brazil, the pre-season test programme for next year’s world championship will commence.

Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport revealed that the first winter test will take place on 7 February at Jerez.

There will be only two other winter tests, with a fourth test to take place during the 2012 race season.

Valencia’s Ricardo Tormo permanent circuit will no longer be used as a winter venue, as its tight curves are not applicable to most of the tracks on the race calendar.

After Jerez, two tests will take place in Barcelona before the circus moves to Australia for the first race in March.

The mid-season test date and location are still being discussed. The three week gap between the Indian and Spanish grands prix is one possibility, while a test immediately after the Circuit de Catalunya race is also an option.

Jerez, Silverstone and Mugello are also possible locations, with the latter the frontrunner due to owner Ferrari having the power to waive the rental fee.