The Sauber F1 team has confirmed that two-thirds of its test and development squad will get a run-out at either this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix or the group test that follows.

Previewing round three of the 2014 campaign, the Swiss outfit revealed not only that official 'third' driver Giedo van der Garde get his first race weekend run in its white-and-graphite colours on Friday, but that Russian hopeful Sergey Sirotkin would also be given limited mileage when the teams reconvene at the Bahrain International Circuit for the first 'in-season' test of the year.

van der Garde, who transferred from Caterham over the winter, will be called into action for the first time during FP1 on Friday, taking the car usually driven by Esteban Guti?rrez, who will return for second practice. Dutchman van der Garde will also be at the wheel of the C33 on day two of the subsequent test - which takes place over 8- 9 April - where he will take over from Sirotkin after the Russian has had the chance to rack up enough mileage to fulfil the requirements for F1's mandatory superlicence.

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After a frustrating start to the season, which sees both regular pilots Gutierrez and Adrian Sutil without a point to their name, Sauber will be hoping that having run the new breed of F1 car in Bahrain already this year will begin to pay dividends.

"We went testing in Bahrain twice before the start of the season and were not happy with the performance of the car, which had a lot to do with a lack of straight-line speed and some issues under braking," head of track engineering Giampaolo Dall'Ara reported, "However, since then, we have improved the car in different areas, particularly under braking.

"In addition, the performance in medium and high speed corners is quite good as well, but we still have room for improvement in low speed corners, and the straight-line speed is still an issue.

"We are constantly working on fine-tuning all the systems with the goal to provide the drivers with a car which gives them the confidence to push it to the limits. In addition, we will continue our weight saving programme during the upcoming races."