Button, Rosberg and Alonso to drive first at Catalunya

World Champion Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso and Nico Rosberg will kick off the Barcelona test at the Circuit de Catalunya later this week for their respective McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes GP teams.

The Barcelona test, which will be the teams’ final opportunity to test their machinery before the season-opening Bahrain GP on March 14th, begins on Thursday.

McLaren confirmed today that Button would take the first and third days of the test with Lewis Hamilton taking the second and fourth. Similarly, Rosberg will alternate with illustrious team-mate Schumacher for the Mercedes team.

Ferrari have opted to give Alonso the first two days and Massa the third and fourth, while Hulkenberg, Liuzzi and Petrov will also run before their team-mates for Williams, Force India and Renault respectively.

It is expected that Virgin and Lotus will join the aforementioned outfits, although as yet there is no news on the appearance of Campos. USF1 are thought to be in frantic negotiation with the FIA to miss the first four races of the season as they struggle to make ends meet.