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Button to get first run in new McLaren

Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button
Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton

Jan.17 (Reuters) 2011 world championship runner-up Jenson Button will have the first run in the new McLaren when Formula 1 pre-season testing starts next month, the Woking based team said on Monday.

The new MP4-27 car is due to be launched at the Woking factory in southern England on Feb. 1 with 2009 world champion Button scheduled to kick off testing at the Jerez circuit in Spain on Feb. 7 and 8.

Team mate, fellow Briton and 2008 world champion Lewis Hamilton will take over the final two days on Feb. 9 and 10.

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Button finished overall runner-up to Red Bull’s double world champion Sebastian Vettel in the 2011 season, with Hamilton fifth overall and beaten by a team mate for the first time in his F1 career.

Both McLaren drivers won three races last year.

Here are the provisional dates for our 2012 pre-season test days:

Jerez

Tuesday Feb 7Jenson Button
Wednesday Feb 8Jenson Button
Thursday Feb 9Lewis Hamilton
Friday Feb 10Lewis Hamilton

Barcelona

Tuesday Feb 21Lewis Hamilton
Wednesday Feb 22Lewis Hamilton
Thursday Feb 23Jenson Button
Friday Feb 24Jenson Button

Barcelona

Thursday March 1Jenson Button
Friday March 2Lewis Hamilton
Saturday March 3Jenson Button
Sunday March 4Lewis Hamilton