Date: 26th April 2012 at 9:06am
Written by:

The first in season test takes place next week at the Italian track of Mugello.

Having already announced that neither Jenson Button or Lewis Hamilton will attend the test, with McLaren opting to hand the cars over to Gary Paffett and Oliver Turvey, Hamilton has decided that he might take advantage of having some extra time behind the wheel after all.

‘I need to get back in the car. We need to figure out why the tyres are going off.

‘If there are other things to test or ways to figure out I will be the one to do it, not let some-one else do it.’
Hamilton told The Daily Telegraph after the race in Bahrain.

So what plans do the other teams have?

Well HRT will not be in attendance, the Spanish team have decided to to ‘completely focus’ on the team’s relocation to Madrid. Which means having missed all of the pre-season tests in the winter, HRT have not completed a single lap of official testing this season.

‘This move is very important for us and by not going to Mugello we can work thoroughly on the car to prepare for the Spanish Grand Prix. We won’t have the new upgrade package until then so we’ve preferred to focus on what can contribute more to us, which is teamwork at the headquarters. And there is a lot to do’. Team Principal Luis Perez-Sala told Sky Sports.

Ferrari meanwhile have set out a clear strategy for the test. Fernando Alonso will spend the first two days testing for Ferrari, while Felipe Massa will get the third day.

The Sauber team have opted for a similar plan, with Kamui Kobayashi testing the first two days and Sergio Perez the third day.

While Caterham, Lotus and Force India have split the three days equally between three drivers. For Caterham test driver Rodolfo Gonzalez will take the first day, with Vitaly Petrov taking day two and Heikki Kovalainen taking day three. At Lotus Jérôme D’Ambrosio will take day one, Kimi Raikkonen day two and Romain Grosjean day three. At Force India Jules Bianchi will take the seat on the opening day, before handing it over to Paul di Resta on Wednesday, while Nico Hulkenberg will get his chance on Thursday.

‘Jérôme has been very patiently attending all the races and has been a conscientious and regular visitor to Enstone since he was announced as our third driver,’

‘It’s clear he has been very eager to get behind the wheel and it will be invaluable for us as a team that he gets this opportunity.
Lotus Team Principal Eric Boullier told the media.

The test runs from the May 1-3.