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Thursday, February 04, 2010
Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team
Image: © 2010 Daimler AG

Schumacher and Rosberg Put In Some Quick Spanish Laps

VALENCIA, SPAIN - The Mercedes GP Pertronas F1 team finished its testing yesterday at the Valencia race track in a session that ran three days, February 1-3, 2010. It was the first opportunity for seven-time F1 World Champion Michael Schumacher (right) and his teammate Nico Rosberg (left) to test the race capability of the new Mercedes GP Petronas car - code named MGP W01. Over the three days of testing, both Michael and Nico put in both set-up and race simulation laps to prepare for the first Formula 1 race of the season in Bahrain on March 14, 2010.

On day 1 (February 1, 2010), Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg tested the new MGP W01 car, with Nico driving in the morning and Michael in the afternoon. Nico completed 39 race laps and set a personal fastest lap time of 1m 13.543 for the day. Michael Schumacher's first drive in the new Mercedes GP Petronas car came in the afternoon, and unlike Rosberg who completed the 2009 F1 season, Schumacher had not been in a current generation F1 car since April 2008. Michael took the MGP W01 out for three runs with a combined total of 40 laps in his first day session. Schumacher concentrated on gaining an insight into the balance and set-up of the car, and managed a best lap time on day 1 of 1m 12.947.

Schumacher had the following to say after his first test in Valencia, "It was a perfect rollout for the new car today. I felt totally comfortable and really had a feeling that everything was very natural. It felt just like at the very beginning of my career in 1991 when on the first lap, I thought ‘wow that was really fast’ and then on the second lap, I was just extremely excited. I feel like a young boy again and really enjoyed myself out there. We did a good job today, just making a few control checks, and the most important thing was that the car ran reliably. With Nico and I covering 79 laps between us, it was a superb job by the team."

Nico Rosberg's first impressions of the new MGP W01 were stated as, "I’m very pleased with our first full day of testing and we were really able to get into the programme and achieve some good work today. We successfully completed a race distance on the car’s second day of running and I’m quite happy with how the car felt on the longer runs with heavy fuel. It felt like the same car, just a little bit slower, but the balance was good."

The second day of testing at Valencia was reserved for Nico Rosberg with Michael Schumacher's test planned for Wednesday. Rosberg completed 119 laps in his day 2 testing with a best lap time of 1m 12.899 for the day. Rosberg said that he had difficulty on both days with his seating position being too low which reduced his overall view of the track. The team will probably have his seating position corrected for next weeks testing in Jerez. Rosberg didn't test the Mercedes GP Petronas car on day 3 as this was scheduled for Schumacher.

On Wednesday, it was Schumacher's opportunity to fine tune the set-up and balance of the car during the morning, and then in the afternoon he changed the pace to duration laps to simulate race conditions. In total, Michael completed 82 laps in the second test with a best lap time of 1m 12.438. Unfortunately, nearing the end of the session, a minor hydraulic leak caused him to terminate testing one hour earlier than scheduled.

Michael Schumacher was very enthusiastic about his testing of the Mercedes GP Petronas F1 car and said, "I’m very happy to have been back in a Formula One car this week. We had a short run on Monday and then almost a full day today which has been good. The experience has been very positive and the car is running smoothly with just a small hydraulic leak which stopped us slightly early today... I’m feeling fresh and motivated and very positive about the season ahead. I can’t wait to be back in the car to continue the (testing) programme in Jerez next week."

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