Mercedes: A very positive first week with the W03
24 February, 2012
Feb.24 (Mercedes) Nico Rosberg concluded this week’s test at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona for the Mercedes AMG Petronas team today.
- Nico began the day with in and out laps for pit stop practice over a total of 17 laps
- Milder temperatures allowed his race simulation to begin at 10:48, although this was interrupted halfway through by a red flag
- The race simulation was conducted using hard compound Pirelli tyres. The team primarily ran soft tyres during the afternoon.
- Work this afternoon focused on set-up comparisons over runs of around 10 timed laps
Nico completed 139 laps in the F1 W03 today, equivalent to 647 km. By way of comparison, this approached Nico’s total of 161 laps over the entire Spanish Grand Prix weekend in 2011. The F1 W03 has now covered 2420 km in winter testing, over five official test days and two 100 km filming days. This equates to a daily average of 444 km during the test days, with Michael and Nico running for over 100 laps on Thursday and Friday respectively.
The next test for Mercedes AMG Petronas will take place at the Circuit de Catalunya from Thursday 1 to Sunday 4 March.
“After our first full test with the F1 W03, I can see that we are making good steps forward. Our test programme went well this week and we have made evident progress each day. In terms of reliability, the car is performing pretty much as we expected which is really important as we can concentrate on improving the performance. Of course it’s difficult at this stage to predict how we will fare in race conditions against our competitors, but overall I’m pleased with the start that we have made. I’m looking forward to the final test next week before the season begins, and continuing our learning with our F1 W03.
“We have had a very positive first week of running with the F1 W03. After five full test days, we have completed over 2000 km, Nico and Michael have done consistent mileage and reliability has been ok, aside from a couple of problems earlier in the week. Both drivers have already completed full race simulations, and this really is a tribute to all the hard work that was done back at base in Brackley and Brixworth to ensure we hit the ground running this year with the new car – as well as to the efforts of our day and night shifts at the track in Barcelona. This basis means that the drivers and engineers have been able to work well with the car rather than chasing problems, and next week we hope to focus even more on getting performance out of our current package. Overall, we are in a reasonable position, but I don’t for a moment believe we have achieved our objectives yet. It may be something of a winter testing cliché, but there is still an awful lot to be done, and it’s far too early to make any kind of judgement about our competitiveness.”