Fernando Alonso will not drive Ferrari’s 2013 car until the second test of the pre-season, the Italian team has announced.
Maranello based Ferrari said it will be Felipe Massa at the wheel for the first three days of the four-day test at Jerez early next month. And it will be new test driver and Spaniard Pedro de la Rosa making his Ferrari debut on the final day of running.
“In the meantime and throughout all the first part of February, Fernando Alonso will intensify his physical training”, Ferrari said in a report on its website.
The team said the double world champion will only debut the as-yet unnamed 2013 Ferrari at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya, where he will drive for the first three days of the second four-day test.
Ferrari’s racing duo will then share the running at the final Barcelona test, meaning that Brazilian Massa will head into the start of the championship with six days of running under his belt, compared to Spaniard Alonso’s five.
Ferrari justified de la Rosa’s day of running on the basis that his new role will be principally focused on simulator driving.
“His day on track on 8 February will be very important,” the website report read, “as it will allow both the team and the driver to work specifically on looking at the correlation between the virtual and the real experience.”
Meanwhile, Brazil’s Totalrace reports that Nico Hulkenberg will be giving Sauber’s new C32 its debut at Jerez, before teammate Esteban Gutierrez takes over for the second half of the four-day test.