Mercedes Roll Out New W03 In Spain

BARCELONA, Spain- Just before the formula one teams resumed their morning testing at the Circuit de Catalunya on Tuesday morning, Mercedes rolled out their new W03 in front of the world’s press, after completing 300 kilometers of private testing the week before.

The car itself features a prominent step down from the front of the chassis and a thin nose and intricate front wing cascades. The team decided to delay their launch in order to give it the maximum development time as new ex-Ferrari designer Aldo Costa only has been around with the team for only a month and a half.

Ross Brawn, always with something to say, expressed his pleasure with the car.

“The F1 W03 is a car that I believe, and hope, our team can be proud of, and which will deliver the on-track results that everybody has worked so hard to achieve,” Brawn said. “Notwithstanding the distinctive nose design, which is certainly an acquired taste, the F1 W03 is an elegant interpretation of the current regulations, and a clear step forward over its predecessor in terms of detail design and sophistication.

“Last year, we produced a very bold car and, although its more radical elements didn’t always deliver the results we had hoped for, the experience we gained has been invaluable to the design of the 2012 car. The F1 W03 is also a more integrated package, which reflects the ever-strengthening ties between our technical teams in Brackley and Brixworth, and demonstrates that our Silver Arrows works team is taking the next step forward in terms of on-track performance.”

“We took a step back and it’s now got a conventional wheelbase, many of the aspects are more conventional, but there’s a lot of actual innovation under the skin of the car. It’s taken more time perhaps with the extra organization and extra strength to make sure that innovation is working well and is a genuine step forward.”

“We had a car that was mechanically complete some time ago and we’ve done a lot of work on rigs and fixtures to understand how the car behaves and how it performs,” Brawn said. “For us, at least in that respect, this is probably the best prepared program we’ve had going into the first race.

“The car’s spent weeks on rigs and fixtures to characterize it and understand how it works and the aerodynamic group have been able to focus on just one specification – one package – for the first race rather than last year when we did a launch spec and an update. I think with the size of the team and the resources we had that was the best approach.

“We’re still building the team and perhaps in the future we’ll reconsider the approach we want to take, but for us, in the position we were in and the team we have that was definitely the best approach. I’m very comfortable with what’s happened. If we were sat here with two inches of snow I’d be a bit worried, but I’m happy with the approach we’ve taken.”

Once again, the team lineup does not change, with Michael Schumacher having nothing to lose, as he is in the final year of his contract with the team and needs to step up his results. Still, he has a lot of hope in the new car.

“I have done quite a few roll-outs and launches of new cars, but even after all these years, I must say it still feels special,” Schumacher said. “Days like this are precious moments, as they are always filled with hope and anticipation. Already last week, when we were driving the F1 W03 for the very first time, it instantly gave us good feedback and sensations.”

Starting today, we will work intensively to make it a competitive runner. Obviously, we will only see over the next couple of weeks how big the step is that we have made, but I can say already that the guys and girls back in the factories at Brackley and Brixworth were brilliant in putting in so much effort, and we can only say a big thank you them. I know which reward they would like, and we will definitely try to deliver it. For my part, I am eager to fight again, looking forward to the new season, and I can’t wait for it to begin.”

Nico Rosberg meanwhile just renewed his contract and feels that he can beat his all-time championship winning rival.

For me it’s very clear that we need to start our progress of upward trend now. And I think we’re on a very good path towards that, especially in the factory; you can feel that the whole organisation is strengthened. Things are working better, people are working better together, the whole atmosphere is much more positive also now. There’s a good feeling in the factory. So you can feel that the upward trend is now starting and that’s what counts for us. What exactly that’s going to be in terms of results or positions I don’t know yet, but it needs to be progress and I’m confident we can make that happen.

“I’m as positive as ever going in to this season, just sharing it with the rest of the team really. There’s a good atmosphere, everybody’s very motivated to make the best of it and get going and improve the car and improve as a team and get closer to those people in front. That’s what we all want and there’s a great drive within the team to achieve that.”

The team expects more from this car and if it works out well, be sure that this team could challenge the big three teams up front.

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