Michael Schumacher has returned to Formula One action for the first time in more than three years on the first day of winter testing in Valencia.
After less than 20 laps, Schumacher was already faster than his Mercedes GP team mate Nico Rosberg and ended the day more than half a second quicker than Rosberg. Schumacher finished the day third out of eight runners and less than four tenths of a second slower than Ferrari's Felipe Massa.
Of the 13 teams on this year’s grid, seven took part today in Spain.
Updated with more than 50 pics: see 2010's F1 cars in action in Valencia - including Schumacher's return" target="_self">Alan Henry blog: The F1 2010 season starts today
Teams have been banned from testing since last November’s race in Abu Dhabi and they have 41 days to prepare for the new season, which kicks off in Bahrain on 14 March.
Renault, Toro Rosso and Sauber all showed off their new cars in the past 24 hours and were at today’s test. Ferrari, Williams, Mercedes and McLaren, who revealed their cars last week, also ran.
Force India and Red Bull have both opted out of this test and will instead run later this month in Jerez and Barcelona. New teams Campos, Lotus, US F1 and Virgin Racing are all expected to test by the end of this month.
Keep checking back to autocar.co.uk today to see latest pictures of the class of 2010 in action for the first time.
Unofficial times from today's running:
1. Massa Ferrari 1:12.574 2. de la Rosa BMW Sauber-Ferrari 1:12.784 3. M.Schumacher Mercedes GP 1:12.947 4. Rosberg Mercedes GP 1:13.543 5. Paffett McLaren-Mercedes 1:13.846 6. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:14.449 7. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:14.762 8. Kubica Renault 1:15.000