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Hamilton, Valles make Silverstone debuts 19 Sep 2006

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren. Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, 19 September 2006. World © SUTTON 
Nelson Piquet Jr (BRA) Renault R26. Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, 19 September 2006. World © SUTTON Adrian Valles (ESP) Spyker MF1 M16. Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, 19 September 2006. World © SUTTON Franck Montagny (FRA) Toyota TF106. Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, 19 September 2006. World © SUTTON Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Renault R26. Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, 19 September 2006. World © SUTTON

GP2 champion Lewis Hamilton arrived at Silverstone on Tuesday morning ahead of his first test outing with McLaren. Hamilton’s is just one of several debuts taking place this week at the British Grand Prix circuit, where many teams are carrying out their preparations for the final three rounds of the 2006 season.

Another GP2 runner getting his first taste of Formula One power is Adrian Valles. The 19-year old Spaniard is at the wheel for Midland, who are running their M16 machine in a new orange and silver livery following the team’s buyout by Dutch sportscar makers Spyker.

Nelson Piquet Jr, runner-up to Hamilton in this year’s GP2 series, makes his first appearance for Renault after being signed as one of the team’s official 2007 testers. And a man who used to hold that position, Super Aguri’s Franck Montagny, is in the cockpit for Toyota ahead of his expected signing to the Japanese team as their new third driver.

The frenzy of new names in new places marks the start of a busy week of testing at Silverstone, with the teams mentioned above also due to be joined by Williams and Super Aguri. Honda and BMW Sauber, meanwhile, will be in action at Jerez in Spain, with Ferrari expected to test closer to home in Italy.

Check back throughout the week for daily updates on the teams’ progress.