The Valencia circuit saw most of the teams giv-ing their cars a first airing, getting to grips with heavi-er fuel loads, longer chas-sis and a mix-up from the running order of last year. New cars, new drivers and new teams all affect the ac-cepted norms of 2009.
As many people expect-ed, Ferrari and McLaren have been trying hard to rectify the mistakes they made last year. Ferrari was fastest on all 3 days of the
test, in the hands of Massa and Alonso.
McLaren showed good long-run pace over the course of the test, with Button running slower than Hamilton at this early stage.
The surprise of the test was the Sauber team, with Kamui Kobayashi and Pedro de la Rosa setting fast times throughout the sessions. The cast-off BMW team claimed second spot each day despite the lack
of stability during the cars design period.
Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn has admitted that they are having trou-ble.
Effectively we had one driver who didnt fit the car properly and one who hadnt driven for three years so it was a day to get things moving. As always until you get to the sharp end of it, where a few tenths matter it is impos-sible to judge.
In any year of any sport, you get those moments that stick with you, ones that you feel proud just to have seen. Heres our top times from Formula One in 2000-10.
Belgium, 2000 One of the ballsiest overtaking moves from Hakkinen, diving past Michael Schumacher and Ri-cardo Zonta in one go at the end of the long straight after Radillion.
Brazil, 2003 Alonso ended the race on the 55th lap from third, hitting debris from Mark Webbers earlier accident. He misses the podium ceremo-ny because he is in an ambulance.
Europe, 2005 Raikonnen elects not to change a flat-spoted tyre and go for the win. The vibrations demol-ish the front-right corner of his car and send him off the track.
Ferrari Top Winter Testing
By Matt Hobbs
Australia, 2006 Jenson Button exits the final corner in a blaze of glory, his engine detonating at the end of the race. Fisichella wins an extra point and a face full of engine oil.
Canada, 2007 Robert Kubica suffers the larg-est crash in recent years, ploughing into a concrete wall at 160mph. He escapes with only a sprained ankle and a concussion.
Brazil, 2008 With heavy rain falling in the last five laps, Lewis Hamilton snatches the championship by overtaking Timo Glock on the last corner of the last lap.
Germany, 2009 Despite a 10-sec-ond stop-go pen-alty mid-race, Mark Webber holds off a resurgant McLaren team to dominate the race and win for the first time in his 10-year career.
Un nished BusinessWhen Michael Schumacher emotionally an-nounced his retirement from Formula One in 2006, many people believed that the sport hadnt heard the last of him.
Sure enough, hes come full-circle and returned to Mercedes-Benz, who rejoin the sport for the first time since 1955. Partnering Schumacher at the team will be Nico Rosberg, making for an all-German team.
Schumacher dominated the first half of the de-cade, winning a record five consecutive titles from 2000-04, and being the main rival to Fernando Alonso for 05-06. Although many people ques-tion the wisdom of returning to the sport at 41, the oldest man to win a world championship was Juan Manuel Fangio, who had a long and fruitful relationship with the Silver Arrows.
The new livery for the team was unveiled at the Mercedes museum in Stuttgart, albeit on a 2009 Brawn repainted in the silver and turquoise co-lours. The 2010 car was still undergoing prepara-tions for the February test.
MotoGPIndependent teams in MotoGP will begiven more breaks for 2012, says the Grand Prix Commission.
New 1000cc regulations come into effect for the 2012 season, and the Com-mission wants to take the opportunity to give smaller teams a fighting chance.
They will be allowed twice the engines for a sea-son, and three litres extra fuel for each race.
IndyCarPaul Tracy used social networking site Twitter to launch a fierce attack on the lack of American driv-ers in this years IndyCar Series.
Just four North Ameri-can drivers were on track for the opening day of last weeks test.
He wrote: Guys like Ra-hal, Rice and me get to stay home and watch. If thats what you fans want, enjoy.
GP2 AsiaDavide Valsecchi clinched the GP2 Asia Series title at Sakhir, with a win in the feature race.
The title win came three races before the end of the Winter season, after Valsec-chi preserved his tyres bet-ter than the rest of the field in the Bahrain heat.
Charles Pic took his first victory in Saturdays sprint event, dominating the race from lap five.
By Matt Hobbs