Lewis Hamilton - FP1: 4th FP2: 7th
"Overall it was a good day, if perhaps not the smoothest. I'm happy with where we are and to see Nico in third place on the timesheets shows that we're pretty competitive. That's a reflection of a great job that everyone has done at the factory and here at the track. I'm looking forward to the rest of the weekend. "
Nico Rosberg - FP1: 7th, FP2: 3rd
"That was an interesting day for us. There are a lot of new things to learn with the car and we made some good progress over the day. We can certainly be happy with our testing programme when you compare where we came from last year. My car had a gearbox problem at the end of the second session but these things happen and it doesn't affect us for tomorrow."
Ross Brawn, team principal
"We had a very good day today until the last five minutes of the second session. Nico's car had a gearbox issue which we were aware of during the session but decided to continue running to maximise our track time as far as possible. With Lewis, there was some damage to the floor of the car from an earlier run which caused him to go off. Overall it was a very reasonable first day and we were able to get a good picture of the tyres and the balance of the car. There will be the inevitable late night in the engineering office as we look over today's data and work out how to optimise the car for tomorrow. "
Toto Wolff, executive director
"Apart from the few laps we lost with each driver at the end of second practice, it was a useful and busy test day for the team. We completed most of our programme on a range of fuel loads and collected our first impressions of the tyre behaviour here in Melbourne. It was a solid start to the weekend and another milestone passed for us. Now we need to continue improving the car overnight and see what tomorrow brings in qualifying. "
2013 AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX - PREVIEW
Posted: Monday 11 March 2013 at 10:30
The 2013 Formula One championship gets underway in Melbourne this week with the first race of the season, the Australian Grand Prix, held at the Albert Park circuit in the city. For MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS, 2013 sees an exciting new driver pairing with Lewis Hamilton joining the team to partner Nico Rosberg at the wheel of the Silver Arrows cars.
- The Safety Car has been deployed in six of the last ten races in Melbourne - including four of the last five
- Mercedes-Benz power has won four of the past five Australian Grands Prix
- 60% of Australian Grand Prix winners in the past decade have gone on to become World Champion
Melbourne is a great place to kick off the new Formula One season. I really like the city and the Australian fans at the circuit are always fantastic and so supportive. The first Grand Prix is where everyone finds out where they really are and we can judge how well we have done against our competition as the times in winter testing just don´t tell the full story. The weather in Melbourne looks very hot at the moment which is going to be a tough challenge as we have no experience with the F1 W04 in those conditions. Tyre degradation will be the biggest issue for everyone so we need to look at that carefully and do a good job in managing it. I´m really looking forward to next weekend and getting the season underway.
It´s the start of a new season and the beginning of a new adventure for me with MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS. I can´t wait to get to Melbourne, get out on track and find out where we stand. The Australian Grand Prix is always an exciting race: the teams don´t know how they compare in terms of performance, the fans are fantastic and, with big changes to the tyres again this year, we just don´t know what will happen in the race. I love the circuit. It´s a street track with a really bumpy surface so you try and put as much downforce on the car as possible and it really puts the drivers to the test. We had a good, reliable car during winter testing so that´s the positive we can take with us into the weekend but we know that in terms of performance, everything begins again from zero in Friday practice. So let´s get Down Under, get racing and see how things turn out.
The start of a new Formula One season is always an intense but exciting time for the team. Our factories in Brackley and Brixworth have been buzzing with activity with both Nico and Lewis visiting to complete their final preparations on the simulator, and the team working to finish the cars, engines and pack the freight for the four flyaway races coming up. The first race is where we can really begin to assess our competitive position and how much of a step forward we have made with our new Silver Arrow. We had a successful pre-season testing programme and personally, I am pleased with the progress we have made, both with the car and in terms of how we operate as a team. However, testing is simply that; racing is a completely different situation and Melbourne will see much higher track temperatures and more varied conditions than we have experienced so far. We´re looking forward to the challenge and to the action starting in Melbourne next weekend.
When it comes to starting a new season, it´s only facts that count - everything else is simply speculation. The facts are that we had a good winter test programme, completed the second highest mileage of any team and made some good progress. Lewis and Nico are working well together and there is a positive dynamic in the team, from the factory to the track. So we head to Australia well prepared. But we know, too, that we will be running in very different temperatures, on a different track surface and that every team will have to finally lay their cards on the table in qualifying on Saturday. Only then can we have a first indication of where we stand in terms of performance. It may sound clichéd but our goal is simply to perform as well as possible. We know that we must go forward from last season and we are proud to be representing Mercedes-Benz on the global stage. Now we have to live up to that standard.