15 Feb

Formula 1 stars prepare for new Grand Prix season

Fernando Alonso

AFTER FOUR days of testing at the Jerez racetrack, Williams driver Rubens Barrichello gained an early psychological edge with the best time of the final session and an overall advantage during the week. Home favourite Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) was third on the final day.

Mark Webber

Later, asked about his main rivals during the 2010 season, Red Bull, the Asturian said, “I haven’t paid much attention to what they did. These are tests and no one knows what the others are doing. I would guess that Red Bull, McLaren, Renault, Mercedes and Ferrari will be close to each other fighting for victory, and I would be surprised if other teams are battling for a win this year. Taking into account the fact that Red Bull had a half-second advantage in Abu Dhabi at the end of 2010, in theory they will start with an advantage in Bahrain and they are therefore the point of reference.” (Later, unrest in the kingdom prompted the organisers to postpone the Bahrain race to “a later date” to be confirmed.)

Jensen Button

An estimated 25,000 people attended the test sessions in Jerez over the four days.

Felipe Massa (Ferrari) made a sound start to the sessions, leading the way on the first day; Michael Schumacher (Mercedes) was fastest on the second day; and Nick Heidfeld (Lotus Renault) had the edge on the third day.

Lewis Hamilton

There will be two Formula 1 races in Spain again this year: Spanish Grand Prix, Cataluña, 22 May; and Grand Prix of Europe, Valencia, 26 June. Following the postponement of the Bahrain Grand Prix, the Australian Grand Prix became the first race of the year, in Melbourne on  27 March; and the 20-race season ends in Brazil on 27 November.

Photos courtesy of: CIRCUITO DE JEREZ/A.Rivero

Rubens Barrichello

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