Teams prepare to resume testing 22 Nov 2004
Formula One cars will be back in action this week for the first time since the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix. Nine of the ten teams are expected to take to the track, including Red Bull Racing.
Spains Barcelona circuit will play host to the major session, where all the teams except Minardi and Jordan are expected to begin their 2005 season preparations in earnest. Toyota and Williams are due to kick off five-day programmes on Tuesday, with the others joining on Wednesday.
Jarno Trulli will be behind the wheel for Toyota from Tuesday through Thursday, while Ralf Schumacher will get his first taste of the TF104B when he tests for two days from Wednesday. The 2005 team mates will hand over to test driver Ricardo Zonta for Friday and Saturday.
Another man making his testing debut with his new team will be Williams Mark Webber, who will be working alongside Antonio Pizzonia, his former Jaguar team mate. Pizzonia, who competed for the team four times in 2004, is in contention for a 2005 race seat, along with Anthony Davidson and Nick Heidfeld, who are both due to test for Williams in the coming weeks.
Giancarlo Fisichella will get his first outing in the Renault R24, as part of the teams four-day programme, while the man who replaces him at Sauber, former world champion Jacques Villeneuve, will debut for his new team on Friday as part of the Swiss squads three-day schedule.
We should see Juan Pablo Montoya in McLaren overalls for the first time alongside team testers Alexander Wurz and Pedro de la Rosa, while Ferrari will be relying on test drivers Luca Badoer and Andrea Bertolini for their development work at both Barcelona and Fiorano.
The team most likely to be the centre of media attention is Red Bull Racing, carrying out their first test since purchasing Jaguar Racing. In the cockpit of their interim car will be 2004 Formula 3000 champion Vitantonio Liuzzi, as well as 2004 Jaguar regulars Christian Klien and Bjorn Wirdheim. All three have their eye on a race seat with the new squad for next season.
Away from Barcelona, Minardi will be testing a number of young drivers, including Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado, at the Misano circuit in Italy from Monday. They will join regular Minardi tester Tiago Monteiro. And at Paul Ricard in France, Olivier Panis will be testing for Toyota from Tuesday through Friday.
Look out for daily updates on the teams testing progress later this week. Note, all schedules are provisional and subject to change.