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Barcelona, here we come - testing resumes 30 Apr 2007

Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F2007. Formula One Testing, Barcelona, Spain, Day Three, Wednesday 14 February 2007. World © Hartley/Sutton

With the Spanish Grand Prix fast approaching, the Formula One teams will be back in action this week, testing at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya. The session, which begins on Monday, is the last opportunity the teams will have to carry out crucial on-track preparations ahead of the May 13 race, the first European round of the season.

After Felipe Massa’s dominant victory in Bahrain, Ferrari will be keen to maximise any performance advantage they hold during their three-day schedule. With the 2007 testing agreement limiting teams to just one car per day, Kimi Raikkonen is expected to take charge of the F2007 during the first two days, while Sakhir winner Massa will join the Italian team on Wednesday, after holidaying in his native Brazil.

Current championship leaders McLaren stretched their legs last week, spending two days carrying out straight-line aerodynamic evaluations with tester Gary Paffett on the Spanish island of Menorca. In Barcelona, fellow Spaniards Pedro de la Rosa and Fernando Alonso will be at the wheel of the MP4-22. While De La Rosa will take to the track on Monday, Alonso will be in action for the remaining two days, no doubt hoping to improve his set-up after his somewhat lacklustre performance in Bahrain.

Title-holders Renault will be out in force as the French team continue to try and rectify their drop in performance this year. BMW Sauber, meanwhile, will be hoping to build on their impressive beginning to the season, and remedy some of the reliability problems that have so far affected Robert Kubica’s runs.

At the resurgent Williams team, race drivers Nico Rosberg and Alexander Wurz and tester Kazuki Nakajima will each spend a day testing, with the British squad hoping to evaluate a new aero package for the FW29 during the three-day session.

Like Williams, Spyker skipped the last major test session at Sepang - and afterwards admitted it had perhaps been a mistake. They will be out to make up for lost time in Barcelona, with rookie Adrian Sutil in the cockpit for one day, and more-experienced team mate Christijan Albers for the other two.

With the remainder of the field also expected to attend, it is set to be a busy week in Spain, so check back for daily updates on the teams’ progress. Note that all schedules are provisional and subject to change.