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Valencia day one - McLaren begin exclusive test 25 Jan 2007

Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Mercedes MP4/22. Formula One Testing, Valencia, Spain, 17 January 2007. World © Sutton

McLaren’s newest signing Lewis Hamilton and long-time test driver Pedro de la Rosa sampled the team’s 2007 challenger for the first time on Wednesday, as the squad commenced a three-day test session in Valencia. World champion Fernando Alonso, who gave the MP4-22 its maiden outing at the same circuit last week, was also in action.

The trio took advantage of the dry conditions at the Spanish circuit and completed a total of 177 laps during a productive day of running. Hamilton and De la Rosa, who took charge in the morning, managed 69 and 41 laps respectively as they acclimatised to the new car.

After lunch, Alonso stepped in to replace De la Rosa in the second MP4-22. The Spaniard began a programme of development work and covered 67 laps. He ended the day the quickest of the three McLaren drivers, clocking a best time of 1m 12.387s - just over three-tenths faster than De la Rosa.

McLaren continue testing in Valencia on Thursday, with Alonso and Hamilton in charge of driving duties.

Unofficial Wednesday times from Valencia:
1. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, 1:12.387
2. Pedro de la Rosa, McLaren, 1:12.718
3. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, 1:13.023