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Mix of old hands and young talent set for post-race test

16 May 2016

The first of two in-season Formula One tests takes place this week, with Spain’s Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya hosting 10 teams and a mix of race and test drivers for the two-day session, which starts on Tuesday.

Teams are allowed just four days of testing during the F1 season, and under the sporting regulations two of those four must be dedicated to helping train ‘young drivers’ who have no more than two Grand Prix starts to their name.

Hence Mercedes will be running their DTM star and reigning GP3 champion Esteban Ocon alongside Nico Rosberg, while Ferrari have Sebastian Vettel in action plus 19-year-old GP3 racer Antonio Fuoco, who gets his second F1 test with the team.

Ocon will actually test on both days - one with Mercedes and one with Renault, for whom he is F1 reserve. Kevin Magnussen will fill the second day for the French marque.

At the wheel for McLaren will be Jenson Button and team reserve Stoffel Vandoorne, back in the cockpit following his successful stand-in for Fernando Alonso in Bahrain last month.

Williams will field development driver Alex Lynn, fresh from his GP2 win at the weekend, and Felipe Massa, while Manor similarly have Jordan King - on the podium with Lynn on Sunday - in action along with Pascal Wehrlein.

The other top-three finisher in the aforementioned GP2 race, Red Bull junior Pierre Gasly, will also feature, testing for Toro Rosso as partner to Daniil Kvyat.

Two teams - Red Bull and Haas - will use both their race drivers, while just one - Force India - have chosen to run a test driver exclusively, with Alfonso Celis getting that honour. will, as usual, bring you news, pictures and reports from both days of testing.

This week's provisional test line-up in full:
Team Tuesday Wednesday
Mercedes Nico Rosberg Pascal Wehrlein*
Ferrari Sebastian Vettel Antonio Fuoco
Williams Alex Lynn Felipe Massa
Red Bull Daniel Ricciardo Max Verstappen
Force India Alfonso Celis Alfonso Celis
Renault Esteban Ocon Kevin Magnussen
Toro Rosso Pierre Gasly Daniil Kvyat
McLaren Jenson Button Stoffel Vandoorne
Manor Pascal Wehrlein Jordan King
Haas Romain Grosjean Esteban Gutierrez

Esteban Ocon was originally scheduled to drive for Mercedes on day two, but the team elected for a last-minute line-up shuffle.