Ferrari has confirmed that 'new boy' Kimi Raikkonen will be the first to test its new car in anger when the opening pre-season test gets underway next week.
The Finn, who returns to Maranello after a four-year break that saw him switch to rallying in the WRC before coming back to F1 with Lotus, forms potentially the strongest line-up in F1 2014, but has been given the nod over perennial championship contender Fernando Alonso when it comes to testing duties with the as yet unnamed Ferrari.
“According to the current program, Kimi will drive on the first two days, then Fernando on Thursday and Friday,” a Ferrari spokesperson confirmed to Crash.net
six days before testing is due to get underway at Jerez.
Confirmation that Raikkonen will be behind the wheel when the 2014 season officially gets underway also ensures that the Prancing Horse will be on track in southern Spain, unlike his former employer, which has already announced that it will skip Jerez in order to work further on its E22 before joining the testing trail in Bahrain.
The majority of the field is expected to join Ferrari at Jerez, with several teams – including reigning champion Red Bull – due to unveil their challengers in the pit-lane. The Scuderia, meanwhile, will take the wraps off its latest car, which is currently the subject of an internet poll to determine its moniker, this weekend.