I’ve had confirmation through from one of the teams of the dates of this year’s test sessions. These are as follows:
February 1st – 3rd – Valencia (Ricardo Tormo), Spain
February 10th – 13th – Jerez, Spain
February 17th – 20th – Jerez, Spain
February 25th – 28th – Circuit de Catalunya, Spain
So far only Mercedes have confirmed their 2010 F1 car launch date – it will break cover at Valencia on the first day of February to coincide with the start of testing.
The teams only get 15,000km of testing (the same as last year) which they will spread across 15 days. It remains to be seen which teams and drivers will be present on which days.
Last year almost all the testing was done by race drivers, the main exception being Kamui Kobayashi who did several days for Toyota – which probably served him in good stead when he substituted for Timo Glock at the end of the year.
Expect the regular racers to do most of the work as once the season has begun there will be no opportunity for circuit testing except for teams bringing in new drivers.
All the group tests are scheduled to take place at Spanish tracks. The teams will not return to the Portimao circuit, where F1 testing began last year, perhaps fearing more of the heavy rain they encountered last time.
The new Motorland Aragon facility in Spain is also not being used – the teams will stick to the tried-and-tested venues of Valencia, Jerez and the Circuit de Catalunya.
Last year Ferrari missed one of the group tests to go to their local Mugello circuit in search of better weather (and perhaps more privacy). This could happen again – it certainly wouldn’t feel right not seeing the new Ferrari being put through its paces around the historic Scuderia test track.
If you’re planning to go watch one of the test sessions live, let us know in the comments.