Hamilton first to drive new McLaren

Hamilton will be first to try out the new MP4-26

McLaren have revealed Lewis Hamilton will be at the wheel of their 2011 car when it makes its track debut at Jerez on February 10. Hamilton will sample the MP4-26 on the first day of the test before handing the car over to team mate Jenson Button for the second day of running at the Spanish circuit.

Unlike most of their rivals, McLaren are to field an interim car during the opening pre-season test at Valencia from February 1-3. Hamilton, Button and tester Gary Paffett are all expected to drive the MP4-25 during the three-day session, as they try out the new Pirelli tyres with a familiar set-up.

Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button will both get 5 days each of testing out the new McLaren MP4-26

The team will then journey to Germany to unveil their 2011 challenger at a special event in Berlin on February 4, ahead of the four-day Jerez test a week later.

McLaren’s pre-season test schedule:
Valencia (tyre test using MP4-25 chassis)
February 1 – Gary Paffett
February 2 – Lewis Hamilton
February 3 – Jenson Button

Jerez (first scheduled run for MP4-26)
February 10 – Lewis Hamilton
February 11 – Jenson Button
February 12 – Lewis Hamilton
February 13 – Jenson Button

Could the battle in the 2010 Turkish Grand Prix between Button and Hamilton become more persistant in 2011

Barcelona
February 18-19 – Jenson Button
February 20-21 – Lewis Hamilton

Bahrain
March 3 – Jenson Button
March 4 – Lewis Hamilton
March 5 – Jenson Button
March 6 – Lewis Hamilton

Info from Formula1.com

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