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It’s felt like an eternity since the curtain was brought down on last year’s Formula 1 World Championship, but today marks the kick-off for the 2012 season, with the first of three official pre-season tests getting underway today at Spain’s Jerez circuit.

Bar Marussia Racing, eleven teams will be in action over the next four days at the former Grand Prix venue, with running kicking off at 9am local time and winding up at 5pm. Teams will have plenty of opportunity to also get to know Pirelli’s updated tyre compounds they will run this year.

This represents the first major opportunity for the teams to suss one another out, and for them to figure out how well (or badly) they have interpreted the 2012 rules.

While the line-up and schedules are subject to change, here’s who is confirmed as driving (and when) over the next four days:

Team Day(s) Running Driver
Red Bull Racing Renault RB8 Tue, Wed Mark Webber AUS
  Thu, Fri Sebastian Vettel DEU
       
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-27 Tue, Wed Jenson Button GBR
  Thu, Fri Lewis Hamilton GBR
       
Scuderia Ferrari F2012 Tue, Wed Felipe Massa BRA
  Thu, Fri Fernando Alonso ESP
       
Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team W02* Tue AM, Thu Nico Rosberg DEU
  Tue PM, Wed Michael Schumacher DEU
  Fri TBA  
       
Lotus F1 Team Renault E20 Tue, Wed Kimi Räikkönen FIN
  Thu, Fri Romain Grosjean FRA
       
Sahara Force India F1 Team Mercedes VJM05 Tue, Wed Paul di Resta GBR
  Thu, Fri Nico Hülkenberg DEU
       
Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C31 Tue, Fri Kamui Kobayashi JPN
  Wed, Thu Sergio Pérez MEX
       
Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR7 Tue, Wed Daniel Ricciardo AUS
  Thu, Fri Jean-Éric Vergne FRA
       
Williams F1 Team Renault FW34 Tue, Wed Pastor Maldonado VEN
  Thu, Fri Bruno Senna BRA
       
Caterham F1 Team Renault CT01 Tue, Wed Heikki Kovalainen FIN
  Thu Giedo van der Garde NED
  Fri Jarno Trulli ITA
       
HRT F1 Team Cosworth F111*  Tue, Wed Pedro de la Rosa ESP
  Thu, Fri Not Running  
       
Marussia Racing Cosworth MR01 All Not Running  

* Denotes 2011 car

So who will have unearthed a championship challenger in their car? Who is going to run underweight and fool their rivals? And who is in for a long and tough season?

In any case, make sure that RichardsF1.com is your one-stop shop for the latest news, analysis and gossip from Spain!

Richard Bailey
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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.

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