Mercedes GP’s long-awaited upgrade package arrived at Barcelona in time for the second day’s running in the final pre-season test, and Nico Rosberg emerged much more upbeat after a solid day assessing each new component on the W02.
Leading figures believed that the new car was about a second off the pace of the leading competitors, but insisted that the launch model was a “basic” spec that would undergo considerable revision before the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
Some of the changes trialled by Rosberg included a revised exhaust layout and new bodywork, while team-mate Michael Schumacher will be trialling new front and rear wing designs on the third day of testing (Thursday).
Rosberg claimed the upgraded parts he tried performed “as predicted”, despite winding up over four seconds slower than Sebastian Vettel’s best effort of the day, a fact that he put down to heavy fuel loads.
“We had glimpses that showed that the full package should be a big step [forwards] … other parts are still to come,” Rosberg added.
Mercedes-Benz motorsport boss Norbert Haug added that the team was not going to hastily fit all of its upgrades in a bid to chase a fast lap time in testing, but that it would instead assume a step-by-step process of analysing each new part in isolation.
“We are taking a step-by-step approach,” he told AUTOSPORT. “We have a different exhaust treatment and some revised bodywork today – and there will be more changes to come.”
[Original image via LAT]