The Brackley-based Mercedes Petronas team joined Red Bull, the part Bicester-based Toro Rosso and Ferrari for a three-day private test in Bahrain last week, as the 2013 F1 season officially came to a close, writes James Beckett.
Rosberg’s running at the test was curtailed after his Mercedes, running a 2013-specification engine, suffered a tyre failure. Although Rosberg did not crash, his car was damaged in the high-speed spin and the Mercedes team opted not to run the German driver for the remainder of the test.
It is thought the sessions allowed an opportunity for Pirelli to introduce its proposed 2014 season tyre compounds, although Pirelli have not issued an official statement following Rosberg’s incident.
The Italian tyre manufacturer is known to be busy working on its selection of tyres for the 2014 season, after receiving widespread criticism during the 2013 campaign when several of their tyres suffered failures during races – notably at Silverstone. The 2014 season will kick off in Australia on March 16.