The future of Formula 1 became clearer with the start of the 2017 Abu Dhabi tyre test including Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull, with Lewis Hamilton making a surprise return to action just two days after missing out on the world title.

Manor driver Pascal Wehrlein had been in line to drive for Mercedes but instead will sit out the morning session for Hamilton to get his maiden outing on the 2017 rubber, before the German takes over testing duties in the afternoon.

Hamilton's involvement somewhat quashes rumours of a split between the three-time F1 world champion and Mercedes after he defied team radio messages to pick up the pace and stop backing up Nico Rosberg into chasing pack in the 2016 finale where Rosberg held on to second place to seal a maiden world championship.

READ: Could Mercedes come down hard on defiant Hamilton?

The Abu Dhabi tyre test marks the first time all three test cars from Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull have been in action together with all three using mule cars.

Ferrari's car has one addition of an exciting new-look rear wing which could be a glimpse towards the 2017 car designs with the revised aerodynamic regulations.

Kimi Raikkonen is on testing duties for Ferrari all day while Red Bull is splitting its track time between Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen.

The unmarked tyres are expected to be a variety of the dry compound options, which will retain the same differential grading of ultra-soft, super-soft, soft, medium and hard used in 2016.

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