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Mercedes drivers to share first test

Nico Rosberg, Michael SchumacherMichael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg will share driving duties on the opening day of testing of Mercedes GP's new 2010 car in Valencia next week.

Team principal Ross Brawn thinks the team will benefit from getting feedback from both its drivers of the new MGP W01 on the first day, before Rosberg and Schumacher then get a full day behind the wheel later in the week.

"Nico will start with the car," said Brawn. "What we want to try and do is give both drivers a drive on the first day. The first day is about checking the car and inspecting all the pieces - and there will be several strip downs of critical parts.

"So during that period we will swap drivers and we want both drivers to get a run in the car on the first day to give us their impressions. Nico will probably do the second day and Michael the third day. But it will be split on the first day."

Brawn also said that the team had opted to unveil only its new colours in Stuttgart on Monday because it wanted the maximum amount of development time for its new car ahead of the Valencia unveiling.

"It's not ready! It's simply not ready," he said, when asked why the team did not launch its new car on Monday.

"It is a very tight programme for everybody with the new car. We've only got four tests and we need to make the maximum amount of time prior to the first test. The performance of the car is the most important thing for all of us.

"So we have launched the team here, and you've seen the new colour scheme. And we will have the new car in Valencia in a week's time. But it is giving total priority to the performance of the car, and we wanted to give the team the maximum time to get the car ready for the first test."

He added: "The car we have at the first test won't be the final definition of the car. We have a major upgrade before Bahrain. That is something that perhaps will be common, but what we launch in Valencia will be the chassis and fundamentals for 2010, but with a new aerodynamic package in time for Bahrain."

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