Williams technical boss Pat Symonds has praised Mercedes' new power unit
"It's a real quality product," Chief Technical Officer says
By Mike Wise
Last Updated: 21/02/14 7:26am
"We're very, very pleased with the power unit. It's a real quality product; it's running reliably, it's running powerfully; it's a good power unit to drive with," he told Sky Sports News on Thursday as Williams driver Valtteri Bottas completed 116 laps to go fifth fastest overall.
"Very little to say other than heaps of praise."
Mercedes' V6 turbo hybrid has had the measure of the power units delivered by Ferrari and, in particular, Renault so far this winter. Williams switched from the French manufacturer at the end of last season.
With Thursday's chequered flag effectively representing the halfway point in teams' preparations for next month's season-opener in Melbourne, Mercedes-powered cars have completed a total of 1416 laps, to Ferrari's 761 and Renault's 445.
They have also been fastest in five of the six sessions held to date and with teams now looking increasingly at performance, Symonds said it was "fundamental" to build strong reliability first.
"You come to these pre-season tests and the first thing you do is get the reliability, because you've got to find out what it is that's going to bite you. And only when you've got that can you really start working on performance," he added.
"I think all the teams really were regarding Jerez as a sort of extended shakedown - to really just try and get on top of the systems, understand how the cars worked and get those miles in, to see what it was that was going to trip us up.
"Even at this second test, I think there's still quite an element of that from most of the teams.
"These days, we continually update the cars and it's now quite typical that it's not until the last test that you see the cars in their final performance configuration.
"We'll really start extending the cars a little bit in the next test."
The Sky Sports F1 Online team will be providing live commentary of all three winter tests, with live updates from trackside also on Sky Sports News.