Rosberg behind the wheel as Sky Sports captures first look at W07
Saturday 20 February 2016 07:15, UK
Sky Sports has caught a sneak-preview of the new Mercedes car, the W07, as the world champions debuted their 2016 challenger at a shakedown event at Silverstone.
The new Mercedes broke cover with Nico Rosberg, the victor of the final three races of 2015, behind the wheel.
World champion Lewis Hamilton drove the new car for the first time in the afternoon.
"It was a good feeling to start with. I felt at home straight away," Rosberg told Sky Sports News HQ on his departure from the circuit.
"I could push as if I raced Abu Dhabi yesterday, so a good beginning."
Under F1's Sporting Regulations, Mercedes are permitted to run up to 100km outside of official testing on designated filming days. Rosberg and Hamilton completed a combined 98.2km during the course of Friday.
And although full winter testing does not begin until Monday in Barcelona, technical chief Paddy Lowe was encouraged by the trouble-free nature of the W07's early laps.
"We were out at 10.15am, the circuit only opened at 10, and everything's gone very well," he said. "Actually, we haven't even taken the engine cover off yet in the whole morning session which is a really good sign of the reliability we've achieved at this point.
"Today is all about filming and making sure we are able to hit the ground running on Monday when we get into the proper testing and see whether there are any major issues that we've overlooked. But so far so good."
Lowe also felt the sound of the V6 engine appeared "a little bit louder" following the mandatory addition of a second exhaust tailpipe for 2016.
"The cars are meant to sound louder this year because they have an extra exhaust exit and listening to the Mercedes this morning it was appreciably louder given they are probably not running the car at full throttle yet," reported Sky Sports News HQ's Craig Slater from outside the Silverstone circuit.
Pre-season testing begins on Monday in Barcelona with the W07 expected to be formally revealed prior to the start of running at the Circuit de Catalunya.
The first Barcelona test starts on Monday February 22 and the Sky Sports F1 Digital team will be providing live commentary from dawn until dusk on all four days of both Barcelona tests while Sky Sports News HQ will also deliver live updates from trackside.