F1 fans will get their first look at how a series of rule changes could affect the upcoming season when the opening four-day test gets underway in Jerez, southern Spain on Tuesday.
In all, 10 teams will take part with only Lotus missing out.
Turbo-charged engines will return to the sport for the first time since 1988 in a raft of technical changes.Controversial move
Meanwhile, in a controversial move, double points will be awarded for the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi.
It is hoped both the technical and sporting changes will lead to a more competitive fight for the drivers’ and constructors’ world championships after a four-year reign of dominance by Sebastian Vettel and his Red Bull team.
The Austrian outfit will be one of six teams to launch its new car on Tuesday as it rolls out the RB10 for the first time. It will also be a first taste of life in the Red Bull for Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo.
The 24-year-old has joined after two seasons with sister team Toro Rosso to replace compatriot Mark Webber as Vettel’s teammate after his retirement at the end of last season. Red Bull’s stiffest competition is expected to come from a rejuvenated Ferrari, which has been boosted by the return of 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen.
The pairing of the Finn with two-time champion Fernando Alonso would certainly appear to give the Italian team the strongest driver combination on the grid.
However, doubts remain over their ability to dovetail as a partnership without a nominated No. 1 driver.
At the launch of the F14-T on Saturday, both men voiced their desire to fight for Ferrari’s first drivers’ title since Raikkonen’s success seven years ago.
“We will follow wherever the team priorities lie and try to do our best to win both championships,” Alonso insisted at the launch.
Yet, having finished second to Vettel in three of his four seasons since joining Ferrari, the Spaniard will want to be in a position to take advantage should the German fail to hit the heights of recent years.
Two more rounds of testing will take place in Bahrain next month before the season gets underway in Australia on March 16.