D he cat is out of the bag. After the new Mercedes AMG W03 had already unwound 370 kilometers without problems in Barcelona on Sunday, it also showed itself to the competition today with a four-minute delay. The Mercedes engineers around Bob Bell, Geoff Willis and Aldo Costa did not reinvent the racing car, but the 2012 Silver Arrow still has some interesting details in it. Just like the pointed nose, the high step in the chassis, the jagged front wing, the extended wheelbase, the mini wings on the diffuser, which were missing from the presentation.
Mercedes better prepared than ever
After Mercedes fell on the nose with an alternative concept last year, technical director Bob Bell gave up this time to forego risky projects. The longer wheelbase is just one example. Ross Brawn calls his engineers' approach a 'controlled aggressiveness'. A car that looks aggressive doesn't have to be better. 'Last year we were too aggressive. With this approach you run the risk of overshooting the mark. This time we made sure that we had good reasons for any alternative solution. It makes no sense to be different just because you wants to be different. '
Preparations for the new season also took a different course. Mercedes only showed its new car two weeks late. The Brackley team used the first week of testing to get to know the new tires with the old car. So you had a better benchmark than the teams who immediately hit the track with new models and then wondered where the progress or regression came from: From the car or the tires?
Mercedes is well prepared
The saved fourth test day at Jerez was used for an exclusive test in Barcelona with the 2012 Mercedes. 'We are better prepared than ever,' claims Brawn. 'The mechanics of the car have been finished for some time. Since then, it has been intensively tested on test benches. The aerodynamicists can now concentrate fully on the Melbourne specification. The timing with the delayed test start was ideal for our program Worried if there had been two inches of snow here in Barcelona. '
Now it will show what the new people in the Mercedes technical office are worth. TheChange mainly took place in management positions. The designers of the car are the same as those who built the Mercedes in the past. The trio Bell, Willis and Costa should now 'get more out of a good team'.
This relieves Ross Brawn from having to deal with the concerns of a team manager. 'The team is still under renovation. Our technical director Bob Bell has been on board for twelve months. That has brought us a big step forward. I can now concentrate on my job as team leader and no longer have to worry about technical meetings.' br>