Some of Mercedes key team members spoke at the launch of their new F1W04, dubbing it as a good step forward that inaugurates a new beginning for the team. The team's drivers meanwhile are eagerly awaiting their chance to get into the car and get on with testing.
"2013 marks the start of a second era for our Silver Arrows works team," said Team Principal Ross Brawn. "The restructuring we undertook at the team over the past 18 months are now growing in maturity and this is reflected in the F1 W04, which is a clear step forward in design and detail sophistication over its predecessor. Many thousands of hours of work have been invested by our technical teams in Brackley and Brixworth to ensure that the new car delivers a step change in performance compared to last season. We are also hugely proud to welcome Lewis to the team as a works Mercedes-Benz driver. With Lewis and Nico, we have what I believe to be the strongest driver line-up in Formula One and I know that a healthy level of competition between them both will help drive the team forward."
Nico Rosberg, who last year took the first victory for a works Silver Arrow in the modern era, completed the car's first laps this morning in Jerez and will also take the wheel for the first official day of testing tomorrow. "I've been working really hard over the winter on my physical preparation, both in the mountains - climbing to over 2,000 metres with ski boots - and also in the Mediterranean, training on my bike, swimming and running. I fitted that around regular visits to see the guys at the factory in December and January and we have done some really good work, especially in the simulator. The car seems to be performing well in the virtual world but we have a very busy and intense programme ahead of us during testing to make sure we can deliver that performance on track. The atmosphere in the team is very positive and the people are highly motivated to succeed. And, of course, I have a new team-mate with Lewis. It's his first time in the Silver Arrow and I look forward to working together and pushing each other hard, to make this the best team in Formula One."
Lewis Hamilton has enjoyed the support of Mercedes-Benz for over 15 years, including racing with Mercedes-Benz power throughout his Formula One career, and this year will make his debut as a works Silver Arrow driver. "It's a very special day for me to officially present our Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow to the world. There is no company with a longer history in Grand Prix racing than Mercedes-Benz and it is an honour for me to tread in the footsteps of legends like Juan Manuel Fangio, Sir Stirling Moss and Michael Schumacher. It's the start of a new chapter for me, a new adventure, and when I walked through the doors in Brackley, I was so excited to get down to work. I've been at the factory for a few days now, getting to know the guys, meeting my mechanics and engineers, learning myself into the team and I have never seen a group of people that is hungrier for success than this one. They have been flat out this winter trying to pack more performance into the new car and I can't wait to drive it and see where I can make a difference to help push the team forward with Nico."
"This is a new start for me with the team in Brackley but I have worked with Mercedes-Benz for a very long time now, and I learned one thing most of all: Mercedes-Benz doesn't know how to lose. We are playing a long game here but I know we will have success together and I'm excited to be a big part of making it happen."
Toto Wolff, the new Executive Director of Mercedes AMG Petronas, concluded: "The first laps for a new car are always filled with emotion and today was no exception. It is even more meaningful when the car is a Silver Arrow: Mercedes-Benz has a long tradition of racing success and this is something we are proud to represent and determined to live up to. In the fortnight since I joined the team, I have been impressed by what I have found. The people are highly motivated, open-minded and determined to succeed. Our drivers are hungry for success, too, and it will certainly be fascinating this season to see how Nico and Lewis perform together. Ultimately, though, Formula One is very straightforward and the only thing that counts is lap time."