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McLaren will be ready for first 2012 Formula 1 test

Jenson Button, McLaren, Abu Dhabi 2011McLaren will have its new car ready for the first test of 2012, after the team confirmed on Monday it will be launched on 1 February.

With tougher crash test regulations in place for next year, allied to a two-week gap between the first and second test, it had been expected that a number of outfits could choose to delay the launch of their new cars to make the most of extra development time.

However, McLaren's announcement that the MP4-27 will be ready for the opening test at Jerez, which takes place from February 7-10, means the team follows Ferrari and Red Bull Racing in opting to get running as early as possible.

Mercedes GP is the only frontrunning outfit so far to reveal that it is deliberately missing the first test to instead launch its new car at the second test at Barcelona, which runs from February 21.

Team principal Ross Brawn said earlier this year that he had no qualms about that decision.

"At the factory, we have been focused for some time on the challenge of 2012, and our very clear ambition to move forward up the grid next year," he said. "As always, the winter development and manufacturing processes are a trade-off between time for finding performance in the factory, and time for delivering that performance during pre-season testing.

"We believe that the decision to run the car at the second winter test is the optimum compromise for our design and development programme with F1 W03."

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