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Foggy Valencia awaits Williams and Renault debuts 21 Jan 2008

Testing in fog. Formula One Testing, Day One, Valencia, Spain, Monday 21 January 2008. World © Hartley/Sutton Red Bull Engineers in fog. Formula One Testing, Day One, Valencia, Spain, Monday 21 January 2008. World © Hartley/Sutton

With the 2008 season drawing ever closer, this week will see the teams step up their preparations during testing at Valencia. Renault and Williams will have most to prove as both squads are expected to give their new challengers their track debuts at the Spanish circuit on Monday.

Former world champion Fernando Alonso has been charged with giving Renault’s R28 its first run. After his successful test in the older R27 at last week’s Jerez session, Alonso is keen to get his first taste of the 2008 car, but has been delayed by the foggy conditions at the Spanish track on Monday morning.

Williams’ FW30 is also expected to make its debut with new test driver Nico Hulkenberg behind the wheel. The Toyota-powered challenger will sport the second of its six commemorative winter liveries for its first run, while the car’s race colours will remain a mystery until the season’s opening race in Melbourne on March 16.

Ferrari, McLaren, Red Bull Toyota and BMW Sauber, who have already launched their 2008 cars, will also be in action during the week as they continue their programmes of development work. Most are expected to field their race line-ups, as their drivers look to get more accustomed to their new charges.

Force India and Toro Rosso are also scheduled to be in action, albeit with their interim cars. Although absent in Jerez last week, Honda will join proceeding with newly-signed tester Alexander Wurz behind the wheel of the RA107, ahead of the launch of their new car later this month.

Super Aguri, meanwhile, will be hoping for a more productive session than they endured in Jerez last week, where they covered just 10 laps. The Japanese squad were hamstrung by missing parts and race driver Anthony Davidson and tester James Rossiter spent several frustrating days waiting in vain for the parts to arrive.

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