SUZUKA, Japan -- Formula One teams are divided over where to go pre-season testing next year, with some favouring Barcelona and others Bahrain.Changes to the regulations present a step into the unknown in 2017, with both the teams and tyre supplier Pirelli set to be on a steep learning curve at the two four-day tests before the first race in Australia. Pirelli favours Bahrain because the temperatures will be more representative of most races on the calendar and the tracks emphasis on traction will help it understand the level of degradation to expect at the opening races.Under the regulations the pre-season tests need to take place in Europe, but in the Suzuka Friday press conference, Mercedes technical boss Paddy Lowe led the campaign to choose Bahrain instead.The situation is that we have the biggest change in tyre regulations probably for one or two decades and Pirelli have asked the FIA if they would support testing in Bahrain, which is outside Europe, Lowe said. By regulation it requires a process to get there, so as I understand, a majority of teams support that request.For me, the important point is that what Pirelli were asking for is some hot-condition testing of the compounds particularly. The structure of the tyre is created and tested in the lab but the compounds they can only evaluate in real circuit conditions and unfortunately the mule car programme which is running at the moment has delivered three cars which are very helpful to the process but they are not delivering the level of aerodynamic load that will be seen next year.So for me its a matter of supporting Pirellis request to contain the risk of arriving at the first race as being the first event with hot conditions and theres real risk to the show. Weve seen what can happen, for example, in Indianapolis 2005.We mustnt forget that we need to put on a show, we need to run a 300 kilometers race with sensible numbers of tyres, so thats not an inconsiderable risk and should be covered. So thats why we particularly support that request.However, Williams technical director Pat Symonds was of a different opinion.[We are] diametrically opposed, he said. The cost of doing a test outside of Europe is vast. Depending on exactly how you do it and how much you have to ship back to the UK, how much you can ship on to the first race -- were talking of a minimum of ￡300,000, probably a maximum of ￡500,000 so a likely figure sitting in the middle of that. Now to a team like Mercedes, Im sure that they can put contingencies in their budgets to cover things like that. A team like Williams simply cant, its a significant amount of our budget, it is unaccounted for and therefore I think it is the wrong thing to do.Now, the rules do have an anomaly in them in that Im sure everyone knows that at this stage of the year you normally need unanimous agreement to change the rules, but there is an anomaly in that theres just this very one thing where at the moment the rules do not allow you to test outside Europe but there is this anomaly that by majority you can agree to test outside Europe. We are opposed to that. The thing that the rules do not allow you to do is to split the testing so you cant have some people testing in Europe, some people testing outside.Now Paddy mentioned we need to have safety and the Indianapolis situation and things like that but I think its very, very clear in the requirements that Pirelli have signed up to and indeed that Pirelli have asked for that were not running cars to test the safety of tyres. That has to be done off the car, that has to be done before they ever see a track, so I dont think that thats an acceptable reason to go testing in the Middle East or elsewhere. Yes, there will be difficulties but you know were in the same boat. We are having the tyres selected for us for the first few races which personally I think is a good thing.If it does come about, then obviously people are going to have to do it because, as I say, we cant split the testing but its going to make a very, very serious dent in our budget. If we do it, I think we need to consider where we do it because we do act like sheep quite often in Formula One and theres this thing of oh well, weve tested in Bahrain before, lets go to Bahrain.Personally I dont think Bahrains a very good circuit to go testing. We have tested there in the winter, some people remember some years ago that there was a test there which was effectively sand-stormed off rather than rained off. And even when we tested there as recently as 2014, the first few hours of the day were spent just cleaning the circuit up. If you accept youre going to stop on the way to Australia, it really doesnt matter where you stop. I think Abu Dhabi would be a much better place, maybe even Malaysia. But as a team were opposed to the idea.Lowe stepped in a second time to clarify his position.I need to correct Pat because I think you misstated what I said. I wasnt talking about the safety of the tyre from a construction point of view, I made that clear. Its just safety from a show point of view with the compound. If you have the wrong compounds then we will be trying to do six or seven stop races and we dont have the tyres to do it. That was my point.Pirellis side of the argument was put forward by its technical chief Mario Isola in a separate media session. He said Pirelli needs the test in hotter conditions to understand the compounds so that it can judge whether the compound selection it has made for the first three races (a decision that needs to be made prior to the first test in order to ship the tyres) is correct.Without representative testing in hot conditions, Isola said Pirelli would have to make conservative compound choices for the first race, which could then have a negative impact on the racing. However, with a test in Bahrain it would be able to prescribe softer compounds in the knowledge that it could still enact an emergency plan to change them if the data from Bahrain proves it has made the wrong choice.When we have the feedback from the winter test, if we decide that any of our choices for Australia, China or Bahrain is completely wrong, we can put in place an emergency plan moving the selection. So, if we decide for Australia that we are going soft, super-soft, ultra-soft and then we realise in testing we are too soft because the performance of the car is much higher compared to expectations, we can move a step harder and move to medium, soft and super-soft. So it is an emergency plan.We would prefer to avoid any last minute change, but considering next year everything is new, the cars are new -- and their performance is just an estimation from simulation -- tyres are new, compounds are new and constructions are new, maybe it is necessary to do that. So we need to prepare a plan and share it with the FIA and the teams and agree that if anything like that happens we are ready to react.Although the option of splitting the teams into two separate tests is against the current regulations, Isola said Pirelli would be willing to accommodate it.We are ready to supply logistics for both tests if they are going to happen, but of course it is not our decision. 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"Martyn is a highly-respected coach with experience at the top levels in England," said Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson. Cheap Nike Sneakers Ireland . -- The Sacramento Kings are set to become the first major professional sports franchise to accept Bitcoin virtual currency for ticket and merchandise purchases. OAKLAND, Calif. -- Left-hander Cole Hamels and right-hander Yu Darvish were struggling before pitching gems in the first two games of the Texas Rangers three-game series against the Oakland As.Hamels pitched seven shutout innings in a 3-0 victory on Friday night when the Rangers clinched the American League West title. Darvish blanked the As for seven inning in a 5-0 win on Saturday afternoon.Both pitchers got back on track in what were likely their next-to-last starts before the postseason begins.On Sunday, right-hander Colby Lewis will try to regain his pitching groove when the Rangers go for a series sweep at the Oakland Coliseum.Hes a real important guy on our team, too, Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus said of Lewis after hitting a pair of two-run homers. He carried our team in the first half.Lewis will make his third start since returning from a two-month stint on the disabled list with a strained lat muscle in the back of his pitching shoulder. Lewis went 0-2 with a 5.06 ERA in his past two starts. In his last start, he gave up three runs and three hits in 5 1/3 innings in a 6-3 loss to the As.Lewis is 12-5 with a 2.87 ERA in 29 games, including 27 starts, in his career against Oakland. He has more career wins and starts against the As than any other team.In his last start at the Coliseum on June 16, Lewis took a no-hitter into the ninth inning and settled for a two-hit shutout in a 6-0 victory. He improved to 6-0 with that win but has lost his past three starts.As rookie right-hander Jharel Cotton will make his fourth career major-league start and try to pitch his fourtth straight gem.dddddddddddd Hes 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA and has allowed one earned run in each of his three starts.Its been good, Cotton said. My confidence is now higher, but the jobs not done. I think I have one or two more starts to go and I want to go out there and give my team a chance to win and go out there and pitch the way I know how to pitch and have fun out there on the mound.Cotton joined John Henry Johnson and Rich Harden as the only pitchers in Oakland history to start their careers with three straight outings of at least five innings and one or fewer earned runs.As manager Bob Melvin said what has stood out most about Cotton is the poise he has had from the minute he took the mound in his debut on Sept. 7 in a 4-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels in Oakland.I know he was a little nervous in the bullpen, but once he got on the mound, he looked like he was really comfortable, Melvin said. Hes with a new organization, hes pitching at the big leagues for a first time. Theres a lot of things that can unnerve you on the mound, and it didnt look like that was the case with him.The stuff you see. The stuff is good, but I think the confidence that he had when he first took the mound probably impressed me the most. Hes another guy that definitely well take a hard look next year in the rotation.Cotton is one of three pitchers the As acquired from the Dodgers earlier this season in exchange for outfielder Josh Reddick and left-hander Rich Hill. ' ' '