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After a week of car launches, it’s time to see the Formula 1 cars out on track for the first time as pre-season testing gets underway at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Join The Roar for live updates from 7:00pm (AEDT).
This is the first of six days’ worth of testing held across two tests, which is two days less than last year, owing to the longer season with 22 races on the calendar (including the now-postponed Chinese Grand Prix).
Some teams, like Red Bull, have given their cars a run on the track as part of their car launches but this week will provide them with their first real opportunity to fine-tune everything ready for the start of the season.
While pre-season testing doesn’t always provide conclusive evidence as to how the forthcoming season will go, it still gives us an idea of where we can expect teams to be in the championship.
Of course, everyone is looking to beat Mercedes, who come into a new decade having closed out the last with their sixth consecutive drivers-constructors championship double. Max Verstappen and Christian Horner have confidence that the lack of any significant changes to the regulations and a good Honda power unit put Red Bull as firm contenders for the championship this year.
Ferrari will also be seeking to put behind a terrible 2019, where both Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc were beaten to third in the drivers’ standings by Verstappen. They must surely be aware that there were missed opportunities last year and will be hoping to improve this season as their quest for their first title in more than a decade continues.
With the weather set fair, it looks as if we will have an uninterrupted test week meaning that teams will be able to run their full programmes. Obviously, nobody can predict what these programmes areas that would give the game away, so we will have to wait and see what happens when the green light comes on at the end of the pitlane on Wednesday morning in Barcelona.
Join The Roar from 7:00pm (AEDT) for live updates as we get our first real taste of Formula 1 in 2020.