The Brackley-based Mercedes AMG Petronas team launched their new 2014 Grand Prix car this week at the Jerez circuit in Spain.
The Mercedes F1 W05 was rolled out to the world’s media on Tuesday, the opening day of the 2014 pre-season test at the Spanish circuit.
Powered by a brand new 1.6-litre V6 turbocharged engine, Lewis Hamilton completed the cars opening laps, although his time in the car was cut short when a front wing failure sent him off of the track and into the barriers on the outside of the circuit.
Despite that, Hamilton’s comments were full of praise for the new car, which features a very low frontal area.
He said: “The new car felt good to drive and it gave me a good feeling overall. The powerplant develops good torque and the rev range is good. It does feel different to the V8 engines we have been using recently in F1, and the V6 engine does sound very different, but my first impression is good.”
Nico Rosberg took over the car for Wednesday’s action and like Hamilton was pleased with how the car performed, adding: “I have been waiting for so long to drive the new Silver Arrow. I think our car is one of the best looking in F1 for the 2014 season and we hope that it goes well too.
“The car is good to drive and I like the feel of the turbocharged engine. It’s very different in some directions to the V8, but also similar in others. This opening test is all about putting miles on the car and finding reliability. No heroics are needed during this test, just solid laps so that the team and engineers can gain as much experience as possible ahead of future tests and the opening race of the season in March.”
Speaking on behalf of the team, Paddy Lowe, the technical director, said: “The team has done a fantastic job on each aspect of the project. We have hit our milestones and also our own internal targets. The car is an elegant response to the new regulations but also an aggressive design and, as is often the way, its beauty is much more than skin deep; the internal engineering is extremely innovative and intelligent.
“I am very proud of the work that has gone into the project so far, which is a huge credit to Bob Bell, Aldo Costa, Geoff Willis, Rob Thomas and the engineering team. Of course everybody is also well aware of how much remains to be done throughout the season; we are only just beginning!”