See all the pics of the class of 2010 in action for the first time in Spain
1 February 2010

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.

Mercedes W01 F1 car revealedRenault F1 shows new coloursSauber's sponsorless F1 carToro Rosso F1 car unveiledMcLaren launches new F1 carFerrari launches 2010 F1 car

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

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Comments
14

1 February 2010

Again, the Mercedes looks terrible with the turquoise stripe where the rest look good.

Schumacher's set a time of 1:14.255 so far in his brief stint, but I doubt that gives a good indication of what his eventual pace will be.

It'll be interesting to see if Massa's times are trounced by Alonso or the McLarens driven by Hamilton and Button. This is where we'll see the raw pace of the latter two exposed.

1 February 2010

Schumacher now on pace, setting a time of 1m13.498s with Rosberg 0.045s slower.

1 February 2010

[quote Autocar]After less than 20 laps, Schumacher was already faster than his Mercedes GP team mate Nico Rosberg.[/quote]Can't help but wonder whether Rosberg is contractually obliged to be slower than Michael, and what the punishment for not being slower than Michael might be.

1 February 2010

[quote SpiritOfSenna]Can't help but wonder whether Rosberg is contractually obliged to be slower than Michael...[/quote]

It's most likely that the spirit of Senna has entered you when you think this, because unless that's true, you've gone nuts.

1 February 2010

What are the big black things on the top of both the Ferrari and the Mclaren? They can't be communication masts surely?

If you look from the side views both Ferrari and McLaren have considerably taller 'masts' than the other teams... is it a new regulation for 2010 or just a design feature?

1 February 2010

[quote crazyal]What are the big black things on the top of both the Ferrari and the Mclaren? They can't be communication masts surely? [/quote]

They are for the extra telemetry they run in testing.

They both had similar a couple of years ago when they had the official test at Silverstone, about ten days before the GP

1 February 2010

Amazing time by micheal,dont forget its his first real go in a 2010 f1 car,there will be always people to slate him,i will judge all the drivers when the season ends......the facts will give the true judgement of all the drivers this year not heresay.

1 February 2010

[quote crazyal]What are the big black things on the top of both the Ferrari and the Mclaren [and Mercedes]?[/quote]

I think they're sensors to monitor the air flow outside of the turbulence the car generates. The Ferrari one looks like a camera.

Schumacher finished third on the time sheet with a lap of 1m13.273s, behind De La Rosa and Massa.

Although it's difficult to compare the times on a like-for-like basis, it's still incredible to see him back to his old form.

1 February 2010

I hope there is an equal treatment between Schuey and Nico.

Be careful. Both cars are not necessarily in the same configurations, especially in test.

1 February 2010

One thing that strikes me (bizarrely) - and it's not the colour schemes, the Schuey debate, the return of old team managers, Buton vs Hamilton - it's the fact that the profile of the cars for this year seems to have the drive sitting in a really obscure position.

It appears that everyone has gone back towards the late 90's early 00's high nose designs but with the drivers seat still low down.

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