Prior to the anticipated moment signaling the start of Formula One pre-season testing at 10:00 a.m. which ended the Winter testing ban, three of the Formula One teams launched their cars early in the morning at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain.
Toro Rosso, Mercedes GP and Williams let the world see their new car for the upcoming season. Williams actually had stated they were not going to launch this season and true to their word, they rolled-out the new FW32 with Rubens Barrichello already behind the wheel for the first morning test.
"Williams are not launching as such, when the car rolls out at 10am, that will be its debut," said spokeswoman Claire Williams.
The other two teams were a lot more theatrical.
Toro Rosso was the first team to officially launch their car with the debut of the STR5, which is more of a duplicate of last year's Red Bull RB5, but the team developed it around a new double diffuser in their own shop.
The drivers on this team will remain the same, with Swiss driver Sebastian Buemi and Spaniard Jaime Alguersuari leading the way. Buemi will be taking the car out on the first test, with Alguersuari finishing up later in the week.
Alguersuari had no time in last year's car for testing, following his late minute entry onto the team last season, when he replaced the outgoing Sebastian Bourdais. But the 19 year old already has learned the school of hard knocks and believes that he will know the 2010 car better this season.
"The STR5 looks good from the outside, and I know that the insides are good." Claimed Alguersuari. "The basis is quite similar to last year's car, and I think we can have a pretty good year, partly down to the fact that I am better prepared."
Later in the morning, Mercedes GP launched their new car that was not with them less than a week ago when the team unveiled the livery and drivers which was at the company's museum in Stuttgart, Germany. The MGP W01 was different this time around as the 2010 features were now in place, such as the engine cover fin and the higher nose.
Nico Rosberg would be the first driver to take the car out onto the track, followed by Schumacher. The fans that were in attendance waited patiently as the seven-time World Champion would go out onto the track as a race driver and not a tester for the first time in four years.
"It was a perfect rollout for the new car today. I felt totally comfortable and really had a feeling that everything was very natural. It felt just like at the very beginning of my career in 1991 when on the first lap, I thought 'wow that was really fast' and then on the second lap, I was just extremely excited. I feel like a young boy again and really enjoyed myself out there," Schumacher said after his initial test run.
The team itself will be hoping for another championship winning success as they did with the former Brawn GP team squad.