Michael Schumacher was delighted with the performance of Mercedes GP’s new W01, which made its track debut at the opening pre-season testing in Valencia. The seven-time F1 champion took over driving duties from team-mate Nico Rosberg for the afternoon’s running, completing 40 laps with a fastest time just 0.370s off that of the quickest driver of the day, Felipe Massa.
Schumacher was almost 0.6s quicker than Rosberg’s fastest lap.
Strike one to Schumacher!
"It was a perfect roll-out for the new car today," Schumacher commented. "I felt totally comfortable and really had a feeling that everything was very natural. It felt just like at the very beginning of my career in 1991 – when on the first lap, I thought, ‘Wow, that was really fast!’ and then on the second lap I was just extremely excited!
"I feel like a young boy again and really enjoyed myself out there. We did a good job today, just making a few control checks, and the most important thing was that the car ran reliably. With Nico and I covering 79 laps between us, it was a superb job by the team."