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Testing to resume in Bahrain and Spain 19 Feb 2007

Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Mercedes MP4/22 . Formula One Testing, Barcelona, Spain, Day Three, Wednesday 14 February 2007. World © Hartley/Sutton Franck Montagny (FRA) Toyota Test Driver. Formula One Testing, Barcelona, Spain, Day Two, Tuesday 13 February 2007. World © Hartley/Sutton Nick Heidfeld (GER) BMW Sauber F1.06.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain, 11 March 2006 Jarno Trulli (ITA) Toyota TF106 ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya (COL) McLaren Mercedes MP4/21 and Michael Schumacher (GER) Ferrari 248 F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain, 11 March 2006 Christian Albers (NED) Spyker F8-VII. Formula One Testing, Barcelona, Spain, Day Three, Wednesday 14 February 2007. World © Hartley/Sutton

With less than a month to go before the opening race, preparations ahead of the first Grand Prix in Melbourne are set to go into overdrive. This week both Bahrain and Spain will host tests and, with so little time left, the two sessions look set to provide the best clue yet of this season’s potential pecking order.

After last week’s three-day test at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya, Williams and Spyker will stay in Spain, albeit after moving to the Valencia circuit. Both teams are expected to begin testing on Monday and continue through to Wednesday. While Williams have so far had two encouraging sessions with their Toyota-engined FW29, Spyker have completed just one full test with their 2007 car after its launch on February 5.

Nevertheless, Spyker’s new F8-VII completed 1,600 kilometres at last week’s Barcelona session and experienced no major technical problems. This week’s test will be the Dutch team’s first two-car session and test drivers Fairuz Fauzy, Giedo van der Garde and Adrian Valles are expected to get a chance to drive alongside race drivers Christijan Albers and Adrian Sutil.

The majority of other teams, meanwhile, will take advantage of the hotter climate and test at Bahrain’s Sakhir circuit from Thursday to Saturday. While 2007 development work will continue to take centre stage, the test will also allow the teams to carry out aero and cooling work tailored to the higher temperatures they are likely to experience at the first three Grands Prix of the season in Australia, Malaysia and Bahrain itself.

Race drivers Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen will once again be in action for Ferrari as the pair continues to get to grips with the Italian team’s new car, the F2007. Fellow championship contenders McLaren and Renault will also be in attendance, although neither team has confirmed their driver line-up for the test.

Toyota will again run their 2007 challenger the TF107, while Japanese rivals Honda will continue their development programme for the RA107. Super Aguri, Toro Rosso, Red Bull and BMW Sauber are also expected at the Bahrain test. Note that all schedules are provisional and subject to change. Check back later in the week for daily updates on the teams’ testing progress.