2008 testing gets underway in Spain 14 Jan 2008
With less than two months to go before the season opener in Melbourne, Formula One testing resumed in earnest on Monday with the start of the first multi-team session at Jerez in Spain. Ten of the 11 teams are expected to attend, as development work for 2008 takes centre stage.
Following the successful launch of their new challenger last week, Ferrari are scheduled to start work on Monday, with both world champion Kimi Raikkonen and team mate Felipe Massa expected to get behind the wheel of the F2008.
Joining the Italian squad for their first head-to-head meeting of the year will be arch rivals McLaren, who also launched their new contender last week. Thus far, Ferrari have only completed a brief 55-lap shakedown, while the British team enjoyed a positive three-day private test at Jerez last week.
Toyota will also join the fray, as their 2008 car, the TF108, gets its debut track outing with Jarno Trulli behind the wheel. Red Bull will be in attendance too, although the Austrian squad will start testing with an interim car, ahead of the official launch of the RB4 at the track on Wednesday.
Also opting to test with interim cars are Williams, with the British team planning to field two FW29Bs in Spain. Both cars, however, will feature new liveries, marking the start of what will be the squads 30th year in the sport.
Nelson Piquet Jr will get behind the wheel for his first test as a Renault race driver on Monday, before team mate and former world champion Fernando Alonso takes over. It will be Alonso's first time in a Formula One cockpit since the 2007 Brazilian Grand Prix back in October. Super Aguri, Honda, Force India and Toro Rosso will also be in action.
BMW Sauber, meanwhile, will be busy elsewhere. The German-Swiss squad are scheduled to take the wraps of their new car in Munich on Monday, before flying out to Spain. Rather than taking to the track in Jerez, however, the team will head to Valencia to test their new challenger, the F1.08, in private a day later.
Check back later for daily updates on the teams testing progress. Note that all schedules are provisional and subject to change.