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Who's in the hot seat in Jerez? - Confirmed drivers for the first week of testing

Published by Christine

Williams attend testing in Jerez, 2012
Credit: Kalisz/LAT

The first pre-season test of 2014 gets underway on Tuesday, with ten teams heading to Jerez to test out their new machinery. The Spanish track will host four days of testing, with Bahrain in charge of the remaining two weeks, but the first appearance of the cars on track will be crucial.

With so many changes throughout the designs, and plenty of concern about reliability, testing mileage will be very important. It's also a chance for the rookie drivers to get some practice, and the experienced drivers to adjust to their new rides.

Lotus have opted not to test in Spain, instead concentrating on making sure their car is ready for Bahrain, suggesting they are behind schedule. Marussia have also had a setback in their own pre-season preparations, with team principal John Booth confirming they will miss the first day's running in Jerez.

We have encountered a small and frustrating teething problem, which we have been working to resolve back at the Marussia Technical Centre in Banbury... Our aim is to solve this issue as soon as possible and send the MR03 on its way to Jerez, where the team have set up and are awaiting its arrival.

- John Booth

The other teams have confirmed their driver line-ups for the coming week, with most rotating their race drivers alongside a couple of appearances from test drivers. Ferrari have managed to persuade both Kimi Räikkönen and Fernando Alonso to appear in testing, whilst World Champion Sebastian Vettel kicks things off for Red Bull.

2014 Jerez driver lineup
TeamDay 1Day 2Day 3Day 4
Red BullS VettelS VettelD RicciardoD Ricciardo
MercedesL HamiltonN RosbergL HamiltonN Rosberg
FerrariK RäikkönenK RäikkönenF AlonsoF Alonso
McLaren-J ButtonJ Button
K Magnussen
K Magnussen
Force IndiaS PérezS PérezN HülkenbergD Juncadella
SauberE GutiérrezE GutiérrezA SutilA Sutil
Toro RossoJE Vergne-JE VergneD Kvyat
WilliamsV BottasV BottasF MassaF Massa
Marussia--J BianchiM Chilton
CaterhamM EricssonM EricssonR FrijnsK Kobayashi

Tyre supplier Pirelli negotiated some mandatory tyre testing into the regulations, and will devote Friday in Jerez to wet tyre testing. The 4.4km track will be artificially-watered and wet tyres provided to teams for an exclusive test. If it rains in the previous days, of course, then the programme will be switched.

The tyre compounds are set to be a big part of the 2014 conversation again, with Pirelli adjusting the rubber for the new season. The tyres are heavier and have new construction and compounds to deal with the revised aerodynamics and power units on the cars this year. Motorsport director Paul Hembery says: "The 2014 tyres are just as different to their predecessors as the 2014 cars."

Although every lap will be important for the teams, and it will be great to get a look at the cars (and their new noses) in action, it's really the last test of the year that will be key. Mechanical gremlins and early issues can be sorted out in Spain, but we'll see more of a glimpse of what pace each team has when they get going in the desert.

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