Nico Rosberg was in the Mercedes MGP W02 for the first day of pre-season testing in Jerez today, completing 67 laps as the team focused on continuing their set-up programme, acclimatising to KERS and increasing their understanding of the new Pirelli tyres.
The running was slightly curtailed by a repeat of the hydraulic problem that the team experienced in the Valencia test, but this has enabled Mercedes to confirm the source of the problem.
“We had a reasonable day and I was able to complete quite a few laps, which is positive,” said Rosberg. “It’s important for both me and the team to get good mileage and we’re really learning about the car all the time. We had a few little issues, which you always expect from a new car, so we just have to keep putting the miles on it.
“The KERS was working well and having more time to get used to the system is a real help; it’s not just a question of using the buttons but also understanding the effect of the KERS under braking. We are starting to understand the tyres better and that will be one of the key factors to success over the race weekends.”
Michael Schumacher will be in the car tomorrow and on Saturday, with Rosberg returning to the car on Sunday for the final day of the test.