The Mercedes W07 became the first 2016 F1 car to run any laps when it took to the track at Silverstone at 1015 this morning, in the hands of Nico Rosberg.
As has become a tradition Mercedes used one of its promotional or filming days to shake the car down on Pirelli ‘demo’ tyres, prior to the start of official testing at Barcelona on Monday.
Lewis Hamilton took over later in the day, and between them the drivers completed 98.2kms of running.
“It’s been a special day, it’s always a great experience,” Rosberg told Sky TV’s tenacious Craig Slater, who had waited all day outside the track front gates. “I know so much about this car, but everything on paper – numbers, aerodynamic values, and what everybody has been telling me, and now to see it all come together last night in the factory.
“They worked all night for the last I don’t know how many nights, and then how impressed everyone was with the details, all the mechanics got their first look at it, it was a great feeling. And then to take it around today in anger was very enjoyable, just to be out there on my own, just to feel this new machine, it was a good day.
“It was a good feeling to start with for sure. I felt at home straight away. I could push as if I raced Abu Dhabi yesterday. A good beginning, but of course I look forward to Barcelona testing now.”
The car will be unveiled on Monday morning in Barcelona, although images will be released this weekend.