Team McLaren Mercedes is returning to the track this Wednesday, 11th January, at the Circuito de Jerez in Spain, for the first test of 2006. The team will test with a new orange livery, originating from the days of Bruce McLaren. Since sponsor West left the team there seems to be no reason to keep the grey livery any more.
Test drivers Pedro de la Rosa and Gary Paffett will be at the wheel of two interim MP4-20's, which will be running in an orange livery, prior to the launch of the new Team McLaren Mercedes livery in mid-February. The orange is synonymous with the origins of McLaren, as the team ran its Formula One and CAN-AM racers in the colour for a number of years starting with the M5A in 1968.
This week marks the start of 28 intensive on-track test days currently scheduled for the team in Valencia, Barcelona, Imola and Jerez leading up to the opening race of the 2006 World Championship, the Bahrain Grand Prix, on Sunday 12th March. Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya will be starting their programmes during the week commencing Monday 16th January.
Further information about the first run of MP4-21, which will be some time in January and the 2006 livery launch will follow in due course. Full details on the pre-season test schedule and daily reports from the track can be accessed on http://www.mclaren.com and http://media.motorsport.daimlerchrysler.com