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Lewis Hamilton tries out new McLaren in Jerez F1 test

Lewis Hamilton driving for McLaren in Jerez
Hamilton had his first run in the 2011 McLaren in Jerez

By Sarah Holt

Lewis Hamilton had his first taste of the new McLaren as the Formula 1 field resumed testing in Jerez on Thursday.

Ferrari's Felipe Massa set the early pace with a time of one minute, 20.709 seconds and his mark was not bettered.

Hamilton was more than a second adrift in fifth place behind Sauber's Sergio Perez, Mark Webber's Red Bull and Toro Rosso reserve Daniel Ricciardo.

Jenson Button will take over driving duties for McLaren on Friday when Michael Schumacher is in for Mercedes.

McLaren ran the 2010 car in last week's test in Valencia after choosing to spend more time refining the MP4-26 in their wind tunnel.

Jerez presented the first opportunity to put the new car, which the team launched in Berlin last week, through its paces.

McLaren show support for Robert Kubica
Many teams are running with messages of support for Kubica.

On day one, McLaren focused on the foundation work involved in running a brand new car such as set-up changes, tyre evaluations and system checks.

Hamilton revealed he had used the Kers power-boost device but had not run with the moveable rear wing, both of which are technical additions for the coming campaign.

"Not the most exciting day, but it was important to make sure everything was running OK," said Hamilton.

"We didn't do any particularly long runs, and I wasn't too aggressive with the car, but we learned a couple of useful things.

"The car feels good compared to last year's, which is positive. It feels like a good step over MP4-25."

Despite Massa's top time, Ferrari were also sticking to aerodynamic testing and understanding the Pirelli tyres, which are also new for 2011.

"I am pleased," Massa told the Ferrari website. "I was able to run continuously, without losing any valuable time.

"[The fastest time] doesn't mean anything, because we don't know what trim the other drivers were running"

Webber kept his head down for most of the day, setting out on 21-lap and 13-lap runs in the afternoon.

"It was pretty good," said Webber. "We did almost 100 laps and the car ran well.

"On the performance side I think we're going OK. It's very early and you don't know who's doing what, but we're focusing on ourselves and seem to be going in the right direction."

Vitaly Petrov was eighth fastest for Renault as the team returned to work in the aftermath of Robert Kubica's shocking accident last weekend.

Kubica had set the fastest time seen in pre-season testing exactly one week ago in Valencia but is now recovering in hospital after suffering multiple fractures during a rallying crash in Italy.

Renault confirmed that Petrov will drive on Thursday and Friday as originally scheduled while the team will evaluate reserve Bruno Senna and Nick Heidfeld over the weekend as they look for a potential replacement for Kubica.

Team boss Eric Boullier told BBC Sport that he was also holding talks with Vitantonio Liuzzi and Pedro de la Rosa in Jerez.

BBC Sport's Lee McKenzie in Jerez

Liuzzi lost his Force India seat to Scot Paul di Resta while De la Rosa was replaced at Sauber by Heidfeld in the final five races of 2010.

Renault's programme was interrupted twice on day one, first by an oil leak and then when Petrov spun on track into the gravel.

There were also some teething problems for Sauber as Sergio Perez caused the first red flag of the day by stopping on track as he ran out of fuel.

Nico Rosberg later halted the session when he stopped his Mercedes as a precaution because of a repeat of the hydraulics problem that had disrupted his running in Valencia.

Virgin also reported a slow start to Timo Glock's session at the helm of their 2011 car on their Twitter page: "Working on a couple of reliability issues."

Toro Rosso and Team Lotus, who lost time in the afternoon because of an unspecified problem, both tried out the moveable rear wing in Jerez.

Team Lotus, who had Jarno Trulli in the car, said they were happy with the results, adding that they are evaluating when to re-engage the rear-wing when entering the braking zone.

Pastor Maldonado's early running for Williams was upset by problems with their rear-wing device.

Technical director Sam Michael explained: "It has not been a productive day for us I'm afraid.

"After the installation lap we had a problem with a bleed screw for the rear wing hydraulic actuator. During the day it caused a lot of downtime as we shuffled parts around."

Force India unveiled their new car at their Silverstone headquarters on Tuesday and Adrian Sutil gave the vehicle its first run out in Jerez.

The team reported: "[We're] not going for times today, just putting mileage on the car."

All of the Formula 1 teams are running the rule over their 2011 challengers in Jerez with the exception of Hispania Racing.

The Spanish team will not test their F111 car until the final test in Bahrain, which begins on 3 March - only 10 days before the start of the unprecedented 20-race season.

Jerez Formula 1 test, fastest times, day one:

1 Felipe Massa (Brz) Ferrari one minute, 20.709 seconds
2 Sergio Perez (Mex) Sauber-Ferrari 1:21.483
3 Mark Webber (Aus) Red Bull-Renault 1:21.522
4 Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:21.755
5 Lewis Hamilton (GB) McLaren-Mercedes 1:21.914
6 Jaime Alguersuari (Spa) Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:22.689
7 Adrian Sutil (Ger) Force India-Mercedes 1:23.472
8 Vitaly Petrov (Rus) Renault 1:23.504
9 Nico Rosberg (Ger) Mercedes 1:23.963
10 Jarno Trulli (Ita) Lotus-Renault 1:24.458
11 Timo Glock (Ger) Virgin-Cosworth 1:25.086
12 Pastor Maldonado (Ven) Williams-Cosworth 1:34.968

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see also
F1 testing photos
12 Feb 11 |  Formula 1
Renault give Heidfeld test chance
09 Feb 11 |  Formula 1
Force India reveal new 2011 car
08 Feb 11 |  Formula 1
McLaren unveil innovative new car
04 Feb 11 |  Formula 1
Kubica sets test pace for Renault
03 Feb 11 |  Formula 1

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