Title rivals Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel will both be involved in the first in-season test of F1 2018, which gets underway in Barcelona on Tuesday.
Hamilton extended his world championship lead over Vettel to 17 points with a dominant victory in Sunday’s Spanish GP, and declared it was the most comfortable he has felt in the W09 in 2018.
The Briton has regularly spoken of his dislike for testing but, with Mercedes under supreme pressure from Ferrari and Red Bull this season, Hamilton announced he will be involved in the two-day test at the Circuit de Catalunya, which gets underway on Tuesday.
“We have testing this week which I’ll be doing – I’ll be working, we don’t stop,” he told Sky Sports F1.
Mercedes have yet to confirm which day Hamilton will be in the car and who their other driver will be in the test. Last season, Hamilton shared duties with Valtteri Bottas in the first test in Bahrain.
A quick look at the race highlights from the Spanish GP.
Vettel will be in the SF71-H on Tuesday as Ferrari seek to learn from their unexpected slump at the weekend.
The German has not been on the podium since winning the first two grands prix and, after finishing fourth on Sunday, he said Ferrari needed to address the problems they still have.
Antonio Giovinazzi, who is also testing for Sauber on day one, will take over from Vettel on Wednesday.
FIA rules dictate each team must give two of the four days of in-season testing over to drivers who have competed in no more than two Grands Prix.
As a result, there will also be plenty of young drivers getting a chance in Barcelona, including several British prospects.
Formula 2 championship leader Lando Norris will be driving for McLaren on both days as the 18-year-old gets his third taste of the team’s F1 car.
Norris will share duties with fellow Brit Oliver Turvey on Tuesday as the pair conduct a tyre test for Pirelli, which is also running over the two days, with senior driver Stoffel Vandoorne running the second MCL33 in McLaren’s usual test.
Norris will then test for McLaren on Wednesday, with Vandoorne switching to the tyre test.
Following his first podium finish of the season, Red Bull have confirmed Max Verstappen has stayed on in Barcelona and will drive the RB14 on Tuesday.
The Dutchman will then hand over to 22-year-old Briton Jake Dennis on day two. Dennis, Red Bull’s simulator development driver, will be making his debut for the team.
Russell drove for the team in practice sessions in Brazil and Abu Dhabi last season, and won the Formula 2 sprint race in Azerbaijan last weekend.
“Really excited to test the VJM11 for the first time, especially after their podium at the weekend!” Russell posted on social media.
Latifi will also tyre test for Pirelli on day two.
Improving Sauber will run the two drivers Ferrari have loaned to them for the season, test driver Giovinazzi on day one followed by race driver Charles Leclerc on day two.
Oliver Rowland will get his first experience in the Williams FW41 when he makes his debut for the team on day one.
The 25-year-old, who is competing in the World Endurance Championship with Manor, was named Williams’ official young driver in February, having been Renault’s development driver last year.
Robert Kubica reflects on making his grand prix weekend return in the Williams at the Spanish GP.
Toro Rosso will have senior driver Pierre Gasly in the STR13 on Wednesday, the Frenchman taking over from Formula 2 driver Sean Gelael who will drive on day one.
The second in-season test is in Hungary on July 31 and August 1.
Barcelona Test driver line-ups Tuesday, May 15 Wednesday, May 16 Mercedes TBC TBC Ferrari Sebastian Vettel Antonio Giovinazzi Red Bull Max Verstappen Jake Dennis Renault Carlos Sainz Jack Aitken McLaren Stoffel Vandoorne Lando Norris McLaren Pirelli tyre test Lando Norris/Oliver Turvey Stoffel Vandoorne Haas TBC TBC Force India Nicholas Latifi Nikita Mazepin Force India Pirelli tyre test George Russell Nicholas Latifi Toro Rosso Sean Gelael Pierre Gasly Sauber Antonio Giovinazzi Charles Leclerc Williams Oliver Rowland Robert Kubica
Will Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes make it back-to-back victories at the Circuit de Catalunya? Watch the Spanish GP exclusively live on Sky Sports F1 from May 11-13. Get Sky Sports F1.