Updated Mercedes W02 hits the track

Mercedes GP hit the track with its updated W02 at Barcelona on Friday, with the team hopeful that the updates will deliver the step forward in speed that they promise

Updated Mercedes W02 hits the track

With the new parts - which include a revised front wing, new turning vanes and other developments - arriving on Thursday night, they were fitted to the car overnight ready for Michael Schumacher to evaluate the steps on the penultimate day of pre-season testing.

The car already featured a revised diffuser and a different exhaust layout which team principal Ross Brawn reckoned had delivered a 'significant' step forward in pace.

Schumacher got an early boost as he moved to the top of the timesheets in the opening hour of running - although varying fuel levels make a meaningful comparison of its pace against the opposition impossible.

Mercedes-Benz motorsport boss Norbert Haug believes the steps will help the team emerge as a competitive force at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix - even though testing form has been difficult to read this year.

When asked about who he thought Mercedes GP's immediate rivals were, he said: "There are probably a dozen cars at least!

"It is probably very clear who is fastest and who has the most consistent lap times currently, then there is probably a second place team. And my guess is that for third spot there are probably a handful of teams fighting for that place initially at the first race.

"But as we saw in previous years that can change. It can change after testing - and it can change from one day to the other. If our package comes together as planned, we can probably make a good step - and if that does not work we need to explore our capabilities further.

"It is difficult to make predictions, and that is what makes it interesting at the end of the day."

shares
comments
Q & A with Pastor Maldonado
Previous article

Q & A with Pastor Maldonado

Next article

Boullier not writing off any rivals

Boullier not writing off any rivals
Load comments
The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race Plus

The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race

OPINION: Max Verstappen has made the 2021 Formula 1 championship. He’s taken the fight to the all-conquering Mercedes squad and its dominant champion, produced driving displays few can match. But he’s been on a controversial course too, and finally crossed a particular line in Jeddah

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An ill-tempered Saudi Grand Prix made Formula 1 more soap opera than sporting spectacle at times, but there were some strong performances up and down the field on the world championship's first visit to Jeddah

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series Plus

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a race packed full of incident as Formula 1 2021's title contenders repeatedly clashed on track. Lewis Hamilton won out over Max Verstappen to level the scores heading into next weekend's Abu Dhabi finale, as Jeddah turned F1 into a drama series

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Plus

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2021
How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes Plus

How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1
Dec 3, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Plus

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Plus

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Plus

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Autosport's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer explains

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021