Teams gear up for winter testing

Formula 1's big guns McLaren and Ferrari are gearing up for a testing head-to-head, following the Scuderia's decision to join the winter testing melee at Jerez on December 5

Teams gear up for winter testing

Ferrari was scheduled to conduct its first test after the November ban at the team's Fiorano test track, but the world champions will now carry out a month-long, Spanish-based development programme beginning at Jerez. McLaren will also test there with David Coulthard and new test driver Alex Wurz.

The first Jerez test in December will be the first time CART ace and Williams signing Juan Montoya drives an F1 car since 1998. British ace Jenson Button, who made way for Montoya at Williams, will also be on hand with the Benetton team.

World champion Michael Schumacher is still convalescing after an operation earlier this month to remove a pin placed in the German's broken leg, sustained when crashing out of last year's British Grand Prix. That leaves the driving duties at Jerez to Rubens Barrichello, while Badoer will be on hand at Fiorano in case of adverse weather in Spain.

The Brazilian will concentrate on developing parts for next year's car, as well as tyre testing. The chassis for Ferrari's 2001 charger is already under construction and next year's engine, the 050, is believed to be a direct progression from the 049C unit used in qualifying this year from Belgium onwards.

After three days of running at the Southern Spanish track, the teams will head north to the twisty Valencia circuit for three more days the following week and then on to Barcelona for the final tests before Christmas.

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