Vettel to kick off Barcelona test

World Champion driving RB8 on first two days in Spain

Last Updated: 16/02/12 1:01pm

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Sebastian Vettel in action at Jerez

Sebastian Vettel in action at Jerez

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World Champion Sebastian Vettel will kick off Red Bull's testing programme at Barcelona next week when the second pre-season test begins, the team have confirmed.

The reigning two-time title winner will be in action in the new RB8 on the opening two days of the test - Tuesday and Wednesday - before team-mate Mark Webber takes over the car for the final two days.

At the first winter test at Jerez last week, Webber was given the honour of taking the team's new machine on its maiden run, with Vettel closing out the four-day session.

The Barcelona test - the first of two to be held at the Spanish Grand Prix venue before the teams fly out to Australia for the March 18 first race - will see teams begin to focus on the performance and set-up of their new machines after predominantly using the four days at Jerez for reliability and data-gathering work.

Having run their old W02 during their Jerez appearance, Mercedes will roll out their 2012 challenger on the morning of the first day at Barcelona, while Marussia will also make their first appearance of the winter, albeit with their 2011 car.

It's all set up to be another intriguing week of action as the grid gears up for the first race and once more you will be able to follow all the latest news and developments from the track with us here on skysports.com/formula1 via our interactive live commentary service, as our team of roving reporters post text and picture updates from across all four days. And if that's not sufficient, Sky Sports News will also be in attendance, with reporter Craig Slater at the circuit throughout the test to provide on-the-spot reports, interviews and analysis.

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