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Teams to test ahead of Singapore challenge 16 Sep 2008

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault R28 Formula One Testing, Monza, Italy, Friday 29 August 2008. Pedro De La Rosa (ESP) McLaren Mercedes MP4/23 on slick tyres. Formula One Testing, Day Two, Jerez, Spain, 23 July 2008 Takuma Sato (JPN) Super Aguri F1 Team.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Spanish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, 26 April 2008

With just four races left this season, the majority of Formula One teams are expected back in action this week as testing resumes, ahead of the inaugural Singapore Grand Prix later this month.

Most will be in action at Jerez for three days from Wednesday, although Honda and Williams are scheduled to begin their sessions at the Spanish circuit a day earlier. And after their difficult Italian race, Honda will be especially keen to make improvements to the RA108, even though they are expected to focus on preparations for 2009.

“There will be very few technical changes to the cars but the downforce levels will be quite different,” explained team principal Ross Brawn. “Singapore is a high downforce track and there will be a range of downforce levels for the remaining tracks thereafter. We are testing in Jerez next week for four days but the focus there will be on projects for the 2009 car and in particular the KERS system.”

Test drivers Gary Paffett and Pedro de la Rosa are scheduled to test for McLaren from Wednesday, while Toyota will field third driver Kamui Kobayashi and race drivers Timo Glock and Jarno Trulli over their three-day test.

Italian race victors Toro Rosso, meanwhile, will hand over the STR3 to GP2 driver Sebastien Buemi and former Super Aguri racer Takuma Sato during the test, as the team continue to ponder their 2009 line-up. Buemi will drive on Wednesday, before Sato takes over on Thursday.

With fourth in the championship still up for grabs, Renault will have their sights firmly set on the rest of the 2008 season during the test. The French team hope to run a new front wing and a new engine cover at the forthcoming Singapore event and both parts are set to be tested at Jerez. Red Bull and BMW Sauber are also expected to be in action at the Spanish track.

Championship leaders Ferrari, meanwhile, plan to test in isolation at the Mugello track in Italy. Test driver Luca Badoer will kick start the team’s programme on Wednesday before handing over the F2008 to Felipe Massa on Thursday. Reigning world champion Kimi Raikkonen will join proceedings on Friday.

Check back throughout the week for daily updates on the teams’ progress. Note - all schedules are provisional and subject to change.