The 2010 F1 season starts today! A three day official test kicks off this morning at the old Valencia circuit to be followed by stints at Jerez (10-13 February and 17-20 February) and finally Barcelona(25-28 February).

It’s going to be an electrifying year. Truly Mercedes today officially unveiled their W01 in preparation for Michael Schumacher’s first serious tilt in a contemporary, state-of-the-art Grand Prix car since 2006, the long-awaited new Williams-Cosworth will break cover in the hands of Rubens Barrichello and Nico Hulkenberg and young Vitaly Petrov – runner-up to Hulkenberg in last year’s GP2 championship – will become the first ever Russian F1 driver when he takes to the track in the new Renault R30.

Renault F1 shows its coloursMercedes WO1 F1 car revealedSauber's sponsorless F1 car

Petrov’s presence on the grid is surely calculated to accelerate the possibility of a Russian Grand Prix soon being added to the schedule.  Bernie Ecclestone has been talking to various potential promoters in both Moscow and St Petersberg over the past few years and Petrov is determined to play his part in  being a catalyst to make the big event happen .

"This is what I tried to do a long time ago, so when I was driving in GP2 I always tried to get the TV and newspapers to say 'come on, we're Russia, we're a big country, we must have a Formula One grand prix. It has to be,'" he said. "So now I'm here maybe they'll wake up and try to do something."