They chose to run the first test with their 2011 contender. The odds were against them, Some speculated that they have something innovative. They had a shakedown last week followed by a private test on Sunday. Now, earlier in the day, Mercedes officially unveiled their 2012 contender claiming it to be the result of their work done for the last two years. Although admitting to the fact that they haven't have any technical breakthroughs to hide, Mercedes are hoping that their car which has some clear solutions for the 2012 rules will help them make a step forward
Taking over a championship winning team, Mercedes has always been stressing on the fact that they were in the process of rebuilding, In 2010 and 2011, Mercedes finished fourth, Although there weren't any single podiums in 2011, Mercedes is hoping for change in luck and they are going into the 2012 season with an unchanged line up. This year also marks the last year of three contract between Micheal Schumacher and Mercedes. Speculations vary from an retirement at the end of the season to an extension that will see him race until the end of 2013 season
Late last year, Mercedes also signed Ex Ferrari man, Aldo Costa, and Ex Renault man Bob Bell along with Geoff Wills who last worked for HRT. These people have long reputation for their work and are expected to turn things for Mercedes.
Mercedes Benz Motorsport Boss, Noert Haug says, “We are in the building up process. We have been two times fourth in the last two years and our ultimate goal is to move up the ladder and go in the ultimate direction of first place. It takes time and a lot of effort, but we are working very hard and ultimately we can achieve it. We want to climb up the ladder. To beat Red Bull, Ferrari, and McLaren-Mercedes is quite a task, but ultimately we want to achieve that. We are still a young team, we need to learn and I think our learning process is underway. My feeling is we are heading in the right direction.”
Micheal Schumacher who was happy with the initial shakedown said, "Already last week, when we were driving the F1 W03 for the very first time, it instantly gave us good feedback and sensations, Starting today, we will work intensively to make it a competitive runner. Obviously, we will only see over the next couple of weeks how big the step is that we have made, but I can say already that the guys and girls back in the factories at Brackley and Brixworth were brilliant in putting in so much effort. For my part, I am eager to fight again, looking forward to the new season, and I can't wait for it to begin.”
Nico Rosberg who like Schumacher has a positive reaction on the car said, “We have had a good start to our 2012 testing programme, and it was a great feeling to drive the first laps in the new F1 W03. The car looks good, and is very nicely packaged under the bodywork - all the parts are in harmony, which reflects how well the different departments of our team are working together. From the beginning of our running, we have been able to focus on understanding the car and making good progress with our test programme."
2012 should be a crucial year for Mercedes as they are expecting things to change. They have long stressed that they are under process of rebuilding but many critics were against them as Mercedes have taken over a championship winning team and not a midfielder for them to keep stressing on same things over a period of time. We have to wait and see if they make a step above in the ladder.