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Motorsport | Formula 1

Fernando Alonso © Gallo Images

Alonso sits out Ferrari Jerez test



Former world champion Fernando Alonso will skip Ferrari's first round of pre-season testing scheduled for Jerez next month, the Italian giants announced on Thursday.

Alonso's absence will leave Brazilian teammate Felipe Massa responsible for handling the initial tests in the team's new car – to be unveiled next Friday at Ferrari's headquarters in Maranello – at the Spanish circuit from February 5-8.

Massa will take the wheel for the first three days of testing before handing over to former McLaren and HRT driver Pedro de la Rosa, who joined Ferrari this off-season as a test driver.

Two-time world champion Alonso, who finished three points shy of last year's title-winner Sebastian Vettel, will get his first run out in the new model at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona on February 19.

Alonso and Massa will then alternate drives for the third and final testing session from February 28 to March 2, also held in Barcelona, before the cars are transported to Australia ahead of the season's opening Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 17.

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