Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Mercedes launch W03 in Barcelona

Mercedes become the tenth team to launch their 2012 car.

Mercedes have launched the car they hope can help them in their quest to win the 2012 World Championship. Named the W03, the team launched it in Barcelona, ahead of this week's four day test.

The W03's first laps
The car features a stepped nose, meaning McLaren are still the only team not to adopt this strategy. Team Principal Ross Brawn said of the car “Notwithstanding the distinctive nose design, which is certainly an acquired taste, the F1 W03 is an elegant interpretation of the current regulations, and a clear step forward over its predecessor in terms of detail design and sophistication. Last year, we produced a very bold car and, although its more radical elements didn’t always deliver the results we had hoped for, the experience we gained has been invaluable to the design of the 2012 car.” The team gave the car a shakedown, before a private day in Barcelona, and the launch today. Seven time world champion Michael Schumacher said the car was "very responsive", while Ross Brawn said it would definitely be challenging for podiums. "We are definitely ready to go for podiums," said Brawn. "Any team that has not won the world championship has to look at how it can improve, how it can strengthen and how it can achieve better results. Even if you win the world championship you still look at that."

Mercedes have added two experienced engineers to the team in former Ferrari technical director Aldo Costa and Geoff Willis, who has worked for Williams, Honda and Red Bull. This launch leaves just Marussia and HRT to launch their 2012 car. Marussia are running their 2011 car this week in Barcelona.

Keep with my blog for all the opinions, launches and testing updates throughout the winter, as we count down to the Australian Grand Prix.

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