Teams prepare for final test of season 10 Oct 2006
This week is the Formula One teams last chance to go testing before the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos on October 22. And with plenty of scores still to be settled in both the drivers and constructors championships, many will be making the most of the opportunity.
The Jerez circuit in Spain will be the weeks main venue, with several teams scheduled to run there from Tuesday, including Ferrari, McLaren, BMW Sauber, Toyota and Williams.
Michael Schumachers hopes of the drivers crown may now be slim, but the German is expected to fly back to Europe to participate in Ferraris programme as the Italian team focus on beating Renault to the constructors title. Their French rivals will not be at Jerez, but could opt to test closer to home at Silverstone.
McLaren are a lonely third in the title race, but the Mercedes-powered team are desperate for a victory in Brazil if they are to avoid their first winless season since 1996. Pedro de la Rosa and Lewis Hamilton will be at the wheel at Jerez. Though unlikely, a race debut for Hamilton at Interlagos has not been ruled out, so the British youngster will be keen to impress.
Honda can finish nowhere other than fourth in the constructors standings and are not expected to test this week. Japanese rivals Toyota, however, are locked in an intense battle with BMW Sauber for fifth, trailing the German-Swiss team by just a single point. Olivier Panis and Ricardo Zonta will be in the cockpit of the TF106B, while race drivers Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld continue the rival F1.06s development.
Williams have a small mountain to climb if they are to overhaul Red Bull for seventh in the standings - they would need to score six more points than their rivals in Brazil. The advantage they have, though, is that while Red Bull have already wrapped up their 2006 season programme, Williams will be at Jerez to make some final adjustments to the FW28.
Check back throughout the week for daily updates on the teams progress. Note - all schedules are provisional and subject to change.