Just the hard and soft tyres are available to the teams, who will all test four of the next five days in Barcelona.
The tyres are the same as those which will be available for the first three races and it is expected many teams will be focussing on race simulation.
Having several stops is going to be a great thing. The best race of last season was Canada – it was unpredictable and fast, which is what we all want from Grand Prix. The fact it happened by accident under Bridgestone was a shame but that should be less of a concern on the Pirelli tyre. It would seem they’ve been brave on tyre wear and this is all to the good.
Whether it is two or three stops will, hopefully, vary from track to track and from team to team. It’s going to be a bit of an adventure in Australia if it’s hot, so they’ll all be cautious, but after a few weekends the ingredients are there for it to be excellent.
And apart from the tyres, it should be a fascinating test for a number of reasons. For the first time, all 12 cars for the 2o11 season are expected to run, with Hispania planning to run their contender.
Mercedes are due to present their much heralded upgrade package – which Ross Brawn told Radio 5Live needs to be worth a second – while McLaren will also be hoping to put worries about the pace of their unusual machine to bed.
Personally, I’m expecting to see some lightening times from Red Bull this week. I’ve got the impression of extreme confidence from the way the team have been talking during the past three tests, despite them rarely lighting up the timing screens. But with just a couple of weeks before the season begins in Australia, when better to scare the hell out of the opposition?