Heading the charge for the two-day run will be Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull), Jules Bianchi (Ferrari) and the McLaren pair of Garry Paffett and Oliver Turvey. Sam Bird will be stepping into the drivers seat at Mercedes, while Force India will have Paul di Resta, Yelmer Buurman and Antonio Felix da Costa.
Renault are running with Mikhail Aleshin. Last month Aleshin became the first Russian driver to win an international championship when he pipped Ricciardo to the World Series by Renault crown in Barcelona and he’ll be hoping to impress once more; as will his Renault partner Jerome d’Ambrosio. The Belgian driver is one of two drivers testing with two teams this week – the GP2 runner is also spending time with the Virgin Racing crew.
Red Bull’s sister team, Toro Rosso will be running British Formula 3 Champion Jean-Eric Vergne – the Frenchman cruised to victory in the famed series with Carlin and will be moving up to World Series full-time in 2011. Sergio Perez and inaugural GP3 Champion Esteban Gutierrez will be testing the wares at Sauber.
Newly crowned GP2 Champion, Pastor Maldonado will be the other driver to split his talents across two teams. The Venezuelan charger will be running alongside Formula 2 Champion Dean Stoneman at Williams, but not before partnering Josef Král and Davide Valsecchi in the Hispania Racing machine.
As for the other two “new” teams, Lotus will be running Vladimir Arabadzhiev and Rodolfo Gonzalez; while Virgin will be running with three drivers – Luiz Razia and Rio Haryanto alongside occasional Friday morning runner Jerome d’Ambrosio.
Of the young drivers testing, only Sergio Perez has a confirmed Formula 1 seat for 2011 – the Mexican will sit alongside Kamui Kobayashi at Sauber; however it is expected that Pastor Maldonado and Jerome d’Ambrosio may have race seats confirmed with Williams and Virgin Racing respectively.
Following the young driver test, Pirelli will commence their first test on Friday and Saturday. The teams will be running with their regular drivers for these sessions as opposed to McLaren, who will just be utilising the efforts of Gary Paffett.