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Teams prepare for final test of 2006 12 Dec 2006

Luca Badoer (ITA) Ferrari test driver Formula One Testing, Day 3, Jerez, Spain. 8 December 2006. World © Bumstead/Sutton.

This week sees the last test session of 2006 before Formula One racing takes a well-earned break for Christmas. After last week’s Jerez outing, the teams stay on at the Spanish circuit as they continue their intensive test preparations for the 2007 season.

Toyota will kick off their three-day test on Tuesday, before the rest of the field arrives on Wednesday. Spyker, who are busy in the factory preparing for the January launch of their Ferrari-engined car, are due to be the only squad missing.

Honda’s Jenson Button is expected to be another absentee. Button, who sustained a minor rib injury in a recent karting accident, has missed the two previous winter tests in an effort to aid his recovery and Honda are unlikely to risk putting him in the cockpit until the New Year.

Toro Rosso, who have yet to confirm their 2007 line-up, will have a new face at the wheel as they try out three-time Champ Car champion Sebastien Bourdais. Meanwhile, at Super Aguri, Takuma Sato will get his first Formula One outing since the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix back in October.

Kimi Raikkonen showed his face with new team Ferrari at Jerez last week. However, contractual obligations mean he cannot test for the team until January. Likewise his McLaren replacement, reigning world champion Fernando Alonso.

Check back throughout the week for daily testing reports and the latest pictures. Note - all schedules are provisional and subject to change.