Hamilton tests new Mercedes

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The new Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix car, the F1 W04, made its first public appearance at the Jerez track in Spain this week when it was launched by drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, writes James Beckett.

The 2013 car is the machine that the Brackley-based Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team hope will deliver much-needed race wins as the team attempts to establish itself as a title contender in the FIA F1 World Championship.

Hamilton and Rosberg were joined by Ross Brawn, the Mercedes F1 team principal, and Toto Wolff, the Mercedes head of motorsport, at the launch as the wraps were taken off the new ‘Silver Arrow’.

Hamilton joins the factory Mercedes team from McLaren – although the German manufacturer has always been instrumental in the development of the British drivers career.

The former world champion said: “I am so ready to get started. The guys at Mercedes have been so welcoming and I want to do the very best I can for them.

“I know we have lots of work ahead but I believe we can develop this car into one that is capable of winning races.”

Nico Rosberg, winner of Mercedes’ most recent Grand Prix, the 2012 Chinese Grand Prix, added: “I am looking forward to the season starting. We are now at Jerez for the opening test of the 2013 season and over the next few days we will begin to see how things are progressing.

“Testing is what it says, testing! You never really know how things are going to work until you get to the first qualifying session of the season.”

On the day that would have been the 100th birthday of Mercedes pre-war racer, Dick Seaman, Lewis Hamilton became the latest British racer to drive a Mercedes Grand Prix car.

Hamilton added: “Driving in the wheel tracks of Dick Seaman and Sir Stirling Moss means a great deal.

“I am very aware that they are both icons of British motor racing and I also want to win Grands Prix for Mercedes like they did during their careers.”

The W04 turned its wheels for the first time on Tuesday when Rosberg and Hamilton both drove the car.

Rosberg’s opening run was halted early due to a small electrical fire. Hamilton took over the car on Wednesday morning, only to suffer a crash at 160mph when the car’s brakes failed.