Pre-Season Testing: Jerez – Day 1

Testing gets underway today at the Circuito de Jerez today, with all the teams except HRT in action with their 2011 cars.

The drivers on track today are:

  • Red Bull Racing – Mark Webber
  • McLaren – Lewis Hamilton
  • Ferrari – Felipe Massa
  • Mercedes – Nico Rosberg
  • Renault – Vitaly Petrov
  • Williams – Pastor Maldonado
  • Force India – Adrian Sutil
  • Toro Rosso – Daniel Ricciadro & Jaime Alguersuari
  • Team Lotus – Jarno Trulli
  • Virgin Racing – Timo Glock

I will post a quick summary of the day’s action this evening, but for anyone wanting to follow the testing, here are some useful links:

Autosport Living Text Commentary

AT&T Williams Living Timings

MS Free Live Timing (Greek site – but useful as you can click on each driver to see a full list of their lap times)

In a nice touch, all the cars are running with “Get Well” messages for Robert Kubica written in Polish somewhere on the car (as can just be seen on the engine cover of the Renault in the photo above). I would just like to take this¬†opportunity¬†to echo that sentiment.

Lotus Renault GP to run Senna and Heidfeld at Jerez

Lotus Renault GP have announced that both Bruno Senna and Nick Heidfeld will be given a chance to drive the R31 in the upcoming Jerez test.

The change comes as the team looks to replace the injured Robert Kubica who’s future in the sport is still not clear after his horrific rally accident on Sunday.

Vitaly Petrov will drive the R31 on both Thursday and Friday, before handing the car over to their 3rd driver, Bruno Senna, and Nick Heidfeld, with the former BMW Sauber driver many peoples’ favourite to get the nod over Senna if it looks like Kubica will be out for an extended period. The team will confirm the running order for the weekend on Friday evening.

Personally, I would like to see Bruno get a chance to impress in a potential front-running car after struggling to make an impression in the under-performing HRT last year. Lest we forget, he came very close to partnering Jenson Button in 2009 before Honda pulled out of F1 and Ross Brawn opted to retain Rubens Barrichello due to his experience and the lack of testing time.