Intensive 2004 test schedule gets underway 07 Jan 2004
With just two months to go before the opening round of the 2004 season, Formula One testing resumes in earnest this week following the end of the winter break. Williams, Ferrari, Renault and Toyota are expected on track at the Spanish circuit of Jerez today (Wednesday), where running is due to continue until next Tuesday.
Following this week's launch of the FW26, Williams will be testing for seven consecutive days in a bid to ensure they avoid the poor early-season form that blighted their 2003 campaign. Test driver Marc Gene will shoulder the bulk of the driving responsibilities, assisted by Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher.
McLaren will be among the other Michelin teams at Jerez, with the British squad scheduled to run from Thursday to Sunday inclusive. Kimi Raikkonen will get his first taste of the MP4-19, with David Coulthard and tester Pedro de la Rosa joining the Finn. BAR are also due to join the session on Friday for five days of work.
Ferrari are the sole Bridgestone squad on track this week. The world champions are in action at Jerez from Thursday to Saturday. Sauber's 2003 test programme will begin at next week's Valencia test, while Jordan will join Ferrari and Sauber for a four-day Barcelona session commencing January 20.
All schedules are provisional and subject to change.