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Final tests underway in Sakhir and Barcelona 27 Feb 2007

Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB3 Testing, Day Four, Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain, Tuesday, 27 February 2007. Kazuki Nakajima (JPN)Williams FW29, Formula One Testing, Valencia, Spain, Day One, Monday 19 February 2007. World © Sutton Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-22 Testing, Day Four, Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain, Tuesday, 27 February 2007. World © Patching/Sutton Christian Albers (NED) Spyker F8-VII. Formula One Testing, Barcelona, Spain, Day Three, Wednesday 14 February 2007. World © Hartley/Sutton Ralf Schumacher (GER) Toyota TF107 F1 Testing, Day Four, Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain, Tuesday, 27 February 2007. World © Patching/Sutton

With the opening race in Melbourne less than three weeks away, the final pre-season Formula One tests get underway in Bahrain and Spain on Tuesday. With all 11 teams scheduled to attend one of two sessions, this week’s track action is expected to provide the best indication yet of this year’s hierarchy.

Bahrain will host the much larger test of the week, with nine teams already in action around the Sakhir circuit for the start of the three-day session. After evaluating the data collected from last week’s first ‘warm weather’ test at the track, aero and cooling work will continue to be the focus for the teams, as well as general development work.

With Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa in attendance for Ferrari, it seems most teams will follow suit and field their race drivers for at least one of the three days. Certainly, fellow championship contenders McLaren and Renault have announced that their race line-ups will appear on track during the test. Japanese rivals Honda and Toyota, meanwhile, will also resume testing in Bahrain, alongside BMW Sauber, Toro Rosso, Super Aguri and Red Bull.

Back in Europe, Williams and Spyker, who chose to forgo testing in the hotter climate of Sakhir, will instead hit the track in Spain. After last week’s session in Valencia, the two teams are expected to recommence their programmes at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya on Tuesday.

Note that all schedules are provisional and subject to change. Check back later in the week for daily updates on the teams’ testing progress.