JEREZ, Spain - With six weeks to go before the start of the Formula One championship, the first pre-season testing session in Jerez will offer early clues as to whether any team can stop Mercedes from crushing its rivals again. Scott Niedermayer Jersey .Although last season was thrilling, that was due to the rivalry within Mercedes between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, with Hamilton sealing his second F1 title on the last day in the much-hyped double-points race in Abu Dhabi.In the first year of the V6 turbo hybrid engines, Mercedes triumphed in 16 of 19 races and finished nearly 300 points clear in the constructors championship. Red Bull won the other three races.In the two months since Abu Dhabi, Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren have been frantically trying to figure out how to close the gap.Teams have been reshuffled, too, with four-time champion Sebastian Vettel quitting Red Bull after a miserable year to join struggling Ferrari, which saw two-time champion Fernando Alonso of Spain leaving to join a revamped and ambitious McLaren.Energized by Alonsos arrival, using Honda engines for the first time since 1992, and with chief executive Ron Dennis back at the helm, McLaren hopes the MP4-30 car can bring back the glory days of Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost in the late 1980s.Such aspirations are far-fetched, but a first GP win since 2012 is realistic given the highly experienced pairing of Alonso and Jenson Button, the 2009 F1 champion.Were prepared for a steep learning curve, said Alonso, who had an unhappy spell at McLaren in 2007. But its clear to see that inside McLaren-Honda, theres total commitment, and a real change in feeling.The home fans will be cheering on the 33-year-old Alonso when the 2015 F1 cars make their track debuts Sunday in southern Spain, and he will take the start line in Melbourne on March 15 more fired up than ever.My motivation could not be stronger for the new season, said Alonso, who finished sixth last year. Ive done a lot of training during the winter break, to reach my peak physical fitness.Alonso has not won a GP since winning at the Spanish GP in May 2013, and Ferrari failed to win a race last year for the first time since 1993.Vettel has little room for error, and much will be expected of the 27-year-old German.Ferrari will hope that the post-season break did Vettel some good because things got so bad last year at Red Bull that he even considered retiring, according to Red Bulls team principal Christian Horner.Williams drivers Felipe Massa — the 2008 F1 runner-up — and Valtteri Bottas will be feeling confident after finishing last season strongly.Elsewhere, all eyes will be on 17-year-old Max Verstappen as F1s youngest ever driver begins his career with Toro Rosso alongside newcomer Carlos Sainz Jr of Spain — the son of two-time rally world champion Carlos Sainz.Daniil Kvyat has the task of replacing Vettel at Red Bull, although given his speed and confidence that is a challenge the 20-year-old Russian driver will relish.Eight teams will take part in testing, which ends on Wednesday. Caterham and Marussia have folded and Force India wont run until the second pre-season testing session in Barcelona from Feb. 19-22.The final session will be held a week later, also in Barcelona. Cam Fowler Ducks Jersey . Jamies number grades given are out of five, with five being the best mark. Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins (5) – He had a brilliant game; it was a huge response for his average games before. Josh Manson Jersey .com) - The Detroit Pistons and Boston Celtics both entered Wednesday nights game riding lengthy losing streaks.TEMPE, Ariz. - Apparently every NFL team with a head coaching vacancy wants to talk to Arizona Cardinals defensive co-ordinator Todd Bowles.Thats what my coaches tell me, Bowles said after Wednesdays practice, but me and coach (Bruce) Arians talked about it. Well deal with it next week as opposed to this week.Various reports have Bowles drawing interest from San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta, the New York Jets and Oakland.You dont have time to be flattered, Bowles said, because you dont think about it because you have games to play.He said his only concern is getting his defence ready for Saturdays wild card playoff game at Carolina.Because the Cardinals are in the wild card, teams cant interview Bowles until next week.Weve talked about it, Arians said. This week is hands off anyways.Arians said he told Bowles, Next week, when youre preparing for the game, set aside a time that you want to pick a team or which teams you want to talk to.And Im all for it, Arians said. He deserves it and hes earned the right, but its not going to affect his focus on next weeks game.If Arizona has a next weeks game.The Cardinals (11-5), who probably will start third-stringer Ryan Linndley at quarterback, are 5 1/2-point underdogs to the Panthers (7-8-1) and are coming off their two worst defensive performances of the season. Ondrej Kase Ducks Jersey. The last two games weve missed an enormous amount of tackles, Bowles said. Weve addressed that. We always do, and the guys have addressed that. Weve just got to get them down. Its want-to and weve got to gang tackle. It cant be just one guy. Everybodys got to get to the ball.Until the last two games, Arizonas defence was the teams backbone and among the NFLs leaders in run defence. But the Cardinals had all kinds of trouble against mobile quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick. Now they face another athletic one in Cam Newton, who is bigger and stronger than the other two.Hes a tight end, hes a quarterback and hes a tailback, Bowles said.Arizonas defensive players know they have to return to their early-season form, when the team got off to a 9-1 start before losing four of its last six games.Weve just got to get back to what got us here, cornerback Patrick Peterson said. ... Weve just got to tackle more viciously.___Online:AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL ' ' '