Ferrari appears set to win the first major 'race' of the year by getting its definitive 2009 contender on track ahead of its rivals.
While the likes of BMW, McLaren and Williams have all run with important pieces of their 2009 jigsaw fitted to interim chassis, the Scuderia has revealed that it will take the wraps off its new car on Monday [12 January], with its first laps to follow shortly after the unveiling.
As yet unnamed, but expected to follow recent convention that saw the F2007 and F2008 hit the track in the last two seasons, the car will be revealed at Ferrari's Maranello factory, before 2008 championship runner-up Felipe Massa takes to the track at nearby Fiorano later in the day.
Although the car will be the first to appear in line with the heavily-revised 2009 rulebook, it is not expected to contain a full raft of developments. Aero and mechanical development will continue right up to the opening round in Melbourne in late March.
While some teams have yet to confirm when their cars will be unveiled, Ferrari nemesis McLaren is due to launch Lewis Hamilton's title defence at its Woking base on 16 January, with Fernando Alonso's new Renault expected to follow later in the month.