Lewis Hamilton will be the first driver to sample the new McLaren MP4-26 when it makes its debut in Spain next month.

The team is set to start pre-season testing with the 2010-spec MP4-25 at Valencia, with the car featuring a number of development parts that will be fitted to the new car. The MP4-26 will then make its debut at Jerez for the second pre-season test after a launch ceremony in Berlin.

Gary Paffett, Hamilton and Jenson Button will each spend a day at the wheel of the MP4-25 in Valencia but when the team heads to Jerez with the new car, Hamilton will be the first driver to hit the track before Button takes over on day two with the race drivers then alternating behind the wheel for the remainder of the pre-season programme.

Away from testing, Hamilton has also appointed a new trainer for the 2011 season in the shape of Antti Vierula, who has been working with the Briton during the winter period.

Vierula replaces Clayton Green, who has moved into a senior position within McLaren's Human High Performance programme.

"At Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, we're committed to building a team with incredible strength in depth in every department," McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale said. "By appointing Antti Vierula to oversee Lewis's trackside fitness regime and Clayton Green to a senior position within our Human High Performance programme at the McLaren Technology Centre, we're convinced that we've assembled the most experienced, capable and committed team to oversee Lewis's training requirements."



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