McLaren test driver Gary Paffett has been handed the honour of being the first man to get his hands on the team's new 2010 challenger in Valencia next week, AUTOSPORT has learned.
The Woking-based outfit had originally pencilled in Pedro de la Rosa for the first run of the MP4-25 next week, but the Spaniard's departure for BMW Sauber has forced a change of plans.
With Paffett set to continue in his role as test driver with McLaren, the team has decided to give him the first taste of the new car instead.
He will run on the opening day of the test on February 1, prior to handing the car over to Lewis Hamilton for the second day. World champion Jenson Button will run the car on the third day.