Rain mars new cars first outing

Poor weather at the Autodromo Nacional do Algarve has frustrated teams eager to test their new challengers today. The Portimao circuit played host to the launches of both the new Renault and Williams cars this morning, but inclement conditions have meant that limited mileage has been possible. The weather across the southern section of the Iberian peninsula has been changeable all day.

Also in attendance are Toro Rosso, McLaren and Toyota. Toro Rosso are reportedly running a hybrid car, while McLaren s Pedro de la Rosa has been the fastest of those in 2009-spec cars. Sebastian Buemi tops the time sheets overall in his Toro Rosso.

The rain has also made it near-impossible to make judgements at the present time about the relative speed of the cars. Moreover, pre-season testing has traditionally been used as a psychological tool, with teams running very light cars turning in good lap times in order to score psychological points against their opponents.