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Page last updated at 16:55 GMT, Monday, 1 February 2010

Formula 1 teams begin build-up to season at Valencia

By Andrew Benson

Michael Schumacher in the new Mercedes F1 car
Schumacher was faster than team-mate Rosberg within 20 laps

Michael Schumacher was quickly back up to speed as he started his first test for his new Mercedes team at the first Formula 1 testing session of 2010.

The seven-time world champion set a lap faster than team-mate Nico Rosberg shortly after taking over the car for the afternoon's running at Valencia.

But Schumacher was upstaged by Felipe Massa's new Ferrari, which was fastest in both morning and afternoon sessions.

McLaren, Williams, Renault and Sauber are also at the three-day test.


1655: Right, that's it. Day one of F1 pre-season testing is over - only 14 more before the first race in Bahrain on 14 March. Thanks for listening. BBC Sport's Sarah Holt on Twitter: Final times: Massa - 1:12.574, De la Rosa - 1:12.784, Schumacher 1:12.947, Rosberg - 1:13.543, Paffett - 1:13.846, Barrichello - 1:14.449

Michael Schumacher on his first run in the new Mercedes: "In a way it's like '91 again (when he made his F1 debut). I was shocked and excited then (and it was the same today). I felt like I had a toy in my hands. For the first day, the team have done a superb job."

McFerrari on 606: "De La Rosa sets a 1.12.784! (attract sponsors, ATTRACT SPONSORS with low fuel runs??!)"

1613: The first day's testing of 2010 Formula 1 cars has ended and Ferrari's Felipe Massa has emerged on top, followed by Sauber's Pedro de la Rosa and Mercedes' Michael Schumacher. But remember that those times don't necessarily mean anything as it is impossible to know what fuel loads the cars had in them at the time.

Autosport's Jonathan Noble on Twitter: "Times tumbling here as drivers make some end-of-day glory runs. Massa quickest 1m12.650. Schumi's just done a 1m13.273 "

1600: The day's running has been extended by 10 minutes following Barrichello's excursion, and will now finish at 1610 GMT.

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt at Valencia on Twitter: Time check time then: De la Rosa (Sauber) 1:12.784, Massa (Ferrari) 1:12.832, Schumacher (Mercedes) 1:12.832, Rosberg (Mercedes) 1:13.543, Paffett (McLaren) 1:13.846, Barrichello (Williams) 1:14.449

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt at Valencia on Twitter: "We have our first red flag of the day. Apparently, Rubens Barrichello ran wide. And apparently it wasn't that dramatic."

1540: It turns out the media scrums with Schumacher and Felipe Massa have been scheduled for the same time later this afternoon - that's going to cause a few headaches.

Autosport's Jonathan Noble on Twitter: "1-0 to Schumacher. His best is 1m13.498 - 0.045 quicker than Rosberg."

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Valencia: "The waiting is over, Michael Schumacher has completed his first few laps for Mercedes at the opening winter test in Valencia. For a minute there, I was starting to think it wouldn't happen.

"The seven-time world champion clocked one minute 18.331 seconds on his first lap as he blazed back down the pit straight in a luminous orange helmet.

"Since then Schumacher has set a fastest time of 1:14.255 - to topple his old Ferrari team-mate Rubens Barrichello - now driving for Williams - as the fifth fastest driver of the day so far.

"Schumacher is due to speak to the media in less than an hour so he could be planning on just a short first stint in the car - or he could keep us all waiting again."

Autosport's Jonathan Noble on Twitter: "While I've been in the paddock Massa has improved a bit more [to] 1m12.842s"

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg on his first impressions of the team's new car: "It felt good but I cannot really feel if it is a winner or not. I still can't judge, even if my first impression of the car was very good. Everything went smoothly. But we have not been on this track for such a long time so it is difficult to compare."

1355: If you want to see every car, from every angle, plus all the drivers, then formula1.com's gallery is the place for you.

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt on Twitter: "As expected, plenty of media/fans were milling around Mercedes waiting for Schumacher as he makes his way from motor home to garage"

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt on Twitter: No-one on track now as most of the teams are breaking for lunch

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Valencia: "It is difficult in the extreme to find any meaning into these early times being set by the six teams on the track in Valencia.

"A lunchtime snap-shot sees Felipe Massa continue to lead the pack, as he has all morning, with a fastest lap of 1:13.088 ahead of Pedro de la Rosa's Sauber (1.13.247) and Nico Rosberg's Mercedes (1:13.543).

"Rosberg is bedding the car in for Michael Schumacher, who will step into the hot seat for a quick spin this afternoon, and so far Mercedes have been pleased with the car's performance.

"At the back of the pack, Sebastien Buemi is propping up the timesheets for Toro Rosso almost six seconds off the pace with 1:19.279.

"The 2010 season represents the first time the Italian team have had to design their cars from scratch without relying on design and technical hand-me-downs from sister team Red Bull.

"The team will be hoping Buemi's showing so far is not representative of the hard work the team have been putting in over the winter. Technical director Giorgio Ascanelli said on Monday: 'I am expecting mistakes - that is why we have (delivered the car) so early.'"

Autosport's Jonathan Noble on Twitter: "Rosberg now joins the gang in the 1m13s. He's done a 1m13.543s - less than half a second shy of Massa."

Nico Rosberg in the new Mercedes F1 car at Valencia testing
The new Mercedes. "Ugly brute"? You decide

From alpharetiredhack on 606: "what an ugly brute that new Mercedes is"

1257: Want to know the latest tittle-tattle in F1? Check out our gossip column .

Autosport's Edd Straw on Twitter: "Sauber are happy with their morning's work despite only doing 17 laps. De la Rosa currently on track and lapping in the 14s"

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Valencia on Twitter: "Michael Schumacher is due to return to an up-to-date F1 cockpit in about an hour's time when he takes over the Mercedes from Nico Rosberg."

1232: F1 winter testing is always a photogenic exercise, with the low sun producing often stunning images that you don't get to see in the summer. Check out our rolling photo gallery from Valencia.

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Valencia on Twitter: "Does a visit to Ferrari to see them serving up squid salad and lovely plates of mozzarella and tomatoes count as fact-finding?"

Mercedes Grand Prix on Twitpic: "first installation lap for the MGP W01. Quite emotional!"

1200: Ferrari's Felipe Massa has set the fastest time of the first morning's running, on one minute 13.088 seconds, nearly a second faster than McLaren test driver Gary Paffett, who is next quickest.

Toro Rosso's Jaime Alguersuari on Twitter: Hope we can do lots of testing with new car and no technical issues anymore! Str5 rocks i promise!!!

1145: The times being set by the cars in testing this winter will be even more difficult to analyse than usual - with refuelling banned, teams will be analysing their cars on everything from near-empty tanks to full. The lap-time difference between those states is as much as five seconds.

Renault unveiled their new car on Sunday - as well as well-heeled new driver Vitaly Petrov. BBC Sport's Sarah Holt was there to hear Petrov's thoughts on his F1 debut, and Robert Kubica employing his trademark dry humour .

1130: Morning - we'll do out best to bring you the latest info from the Valencia Formula 1 test on Monday - the first day's preparation for the new season, which begins in Bahrain on 14 March.



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see also
Schumacher impresses on F1 return
01 Feb 10 |  Formula 1
Russian Petrov signed by Renault
31 Jan 10 |  Formula 1
Reluctant Sauber launches new car
31 Jan 10 |  Formula 1
Button predicts best season ever
29 Jan 10 |  Formula 1


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