Mercedes: It feels like we have hit the ground running 31 January, 2014 Nico Rosberg – Mercedes W05 Mercedes AMG Petronas concluded the opening pre-season test of the 2014 season at the Circuito de Jerez today, with first Nico Rosberg then Lewis Hamilton taking the wheel of the F1 W05 for the fourth and final day of running in Spain. The team completed good mileage with both drivers, making use of both Intermediate and Dry tyres during the day to cope with the damp, changing track conditions. Nico’s best time of 1:36.951 (on Intermediates) from 91 laps saw him end the day in eighth position on the time sheets, while Lewis’s best time of 1:30.822 (on Mediums) from 41 laps was good enough for fifth. In total, the F1 W05 completed 584.496 km of running over the course of the day. Nico emerged for his first run on the stroke of 09:00, completing 91 laps of wet running before lunch. With Nico having completed a race distance, Lewis drove in the afternoon to balance driver mileage for the week. Lewis took to the track shortly before 15:00, adding 41 laps to the team’s total as the test reached its conclusion. Mercedes-Benz Power Units today completed a total of 2,116.584 km between all teams. Mercedes AMG Petronas completed a total of 1,368 km over the four-day test at the Circuito de Jerez. The team now heads back to the UK to prepare for the second pre-season test, to be held in just over two weeks’ time at the Bahrain International Circuit. Nico Rosberg: It’s come as a bit of a surprise that we were able to do so many laps here today, and throughout the whole week. I was able to do a full race simulation on only the fourth day of winter testing, so we can be very happy about that. We decided that I should stop driving at lunch time and hand over to Lewis as I had collected a lot more mileage than him at the time, which is a normal team decision. The past few days and weeks have been a great team effort; both factories in Brackley and Brixworth and also our fluid partner PETRONAS have been a great working group. It’s been a decent start, but there is still a lot of work ahead of us in the next six weeks because it’s such a big mission to get reliability with these new cars. Performance-wise we don’t know where we are because you can’t really compare to the other cars, but that’s not the focus right now. We’ve learned a lot this week so it’s an encouraging start to the year. Lewis Hamilton: I was a little bit down on mileage this week, so it was good to get some more time in the car this afternoon as every little helps at this stage. It’s been a fantastic week for the team. We’ve put a lot of laps on the car which is a huge accomplishment. It’s a bit early to say this definitely, but right now the car feels pretty good. Like every year we’ve got a lot of work to do; it’s a new challenge this season and the workload is maybe a bit higher than in previous years, but it’s a new experience for everyone and I’m enjoying it. This week has just been about getting the mileage on the car and we’ve managed to do that quite successfully, which is really encouraging as reliability is the biggest positive we could hope to take away from here. So far so good; now we just have to continue working hard and see what happens in Bahrain. Paddy Lowe: Today’s programme was designed around completing race simulation work. In damp conditions this morning, Nico conducted a baseline run before running a 74-lap race simulation on Intermediate tyres, including two pit-stops. This was completed faultlessly before we stopped for lunch. At that point, in view of the large discrepancy between our drivers’ mileage this week, we decided to put Lewis in the car for the afternoon. Conditions were very tricky on a damp track, spitting with rain and in cold temperatures. That meant we struggled to find grip on the Intermediate tyres and the Slicks. Nevertheless, he completed 41 laps to bring our total for the day to 132 laps. At the end, he successfully completed some race starts. Overall, it was a very solid day which brought a very successful week to a close. My thanks go to the entire team at Brackley, Brixworth and Petronas for bringing us to this point. It feels like we have hit the ground running, although we still have many aspects of both the car and the Power Unit to improve before the next track test in Bahrain. (Mercedes) Subbed by AJN.