It has been 21 weeks since Fernando Alonso sealed his and Renault's championship titles - the French car-maker's first as a constructor.
After a month off, the Formula One teams were back in action in the final week of November, beginning the monotonous work of testing. The only team to skip the six-week sabbatical were Ferrari, who were in action at Vallelunga just 10 days after the 2005 season finale at Shanghai.
Last season, the Bridgestone camp - and particularly Ferrari - constantly insisted that, with only the Italian squad doing serious tyre testing, the Japanese tyre maker was lagging behind Michelin on development.
Bridgestone logged 20,000kms of testing last winter, compared to Michelin's 100,000. This year, after Toyota and Williams switched to Bridgestone, the Japanese camp has racked up nearly 70,000kms while Michelin have again accumulated over 100,000kms.