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New McLaren to run at first test

ESPNF1 Staff
December 19, 2011 « Melker joins Ocean Racing Technology | Grosjean eager to develop car »
The MP4-26 proved to be difficult to master during pre-season testing in 2011 © Getty Images
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McLaren has announced that the new MP4-27 will run for the first time at the first pre-season test in Jerez.

The test takes place from February 7-10, and McLaren has confirmed that the car will be launched on February 1 but does not reveal the location. It marks a change from 2011, when the team evaluated the Pirelli tyres at the first test in Valencia before launching the MP4-26 ahead of the second test in an attempt to get the maximum development time for the car.

With just three pre-season tests, however, McLaren wants to get as much track time as possible in an attempt to challenge Red Bull from the start of the season. It will join Red Bull, Ferrari, Sauber and Williams in launching its car prior to the first test.

Only Mercedes has so far confirmed that it will wait until the second test on February 21 as it looks to exploit the two-week gap between tests to find performance.