Mercedes W03 spotted testing at Silverstone

2012 F1 cars

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Mercedes are testing the 2012 F1 car at Silverstone today.

The W03 has been filmed testing at the home of the British Grand Prix, near the team’s base in Brackley. Although the car appears quite small in the video above it is possible to see a characteristic 2012 ‘stepped nose’ at the front of the W03.

Mercedes later confirmed details of the test on Twitter, saying: “We?re happy to report that our new car, the F1 W03, completed its first 100 kms during a filming day today.

Nico [Rosberg] and Michael [Schumacher] completed 50km each at Silverstone, with Nico taking the W03 out for its first lap at 10.24am (precisely).”

The car is due to be officially revealed on Tuesday next week at the Circuit de Catalunya.

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    82 comments on “Mercedes W03 spotted testing at Silverstone”

    1. From the somewhat rubbish size we see of the W03 it looks a lot like the W02; probably because of the livery. But the nose looks to be clearly a stepped affair.

      1. I think it`s the W02… I have a feeling Mercedes will going to tell everyone it was a W02 test :)

        1. Dan – it’s definitely a W03. It just LOOKS like the W02

          1. Methinks due to daniel’s smiley face that he was being tongue in cheek…ie. it would be to go backwards to shake down last year’s car even if it had new components on it, not to mention it would be a waste of a shakedown session for the W03. Without doubt this is their new effort.

            1. We`ll see that the Official Press Release of the Mercedes AMG Petronas team will be. I`m kind of looking forward to knowing why all the secrecy with this test. I for one found out about it from an exchange of twitter Mercedes between 2 persons followed by the official Mercedes F1 Team Twitter account saying they saw one of the trucks of the team and the new W03

            2. *i apologise for my english… hope the message doesn`t suffer

            3. @daniel…don’t see any problem with your English at all so no need to apologize whatsoever… and I don’t think there is anything unusual going on in terms of ‘secrecy’…we have known all along that Merc was only going to reveal and test their new car next week at the second official test session for 2012. This is just a normal allowed shakedown before they pack everything up for Barcelona.

        2. This from Mercedes on Twitter:

          We’re happy to report that our new car, the F1 W03, completed its first 100 kms during a filming day today…

          Now added to the article along with further information from Mercedes.

        3. I think it`s the W02… I have a feeling Mercedes will going to tell everyone it was a W02 test

          They’re not allowed to run the W02 outside the scheduled tests.

          1. What about for a filming day?

      2. From a marketing perspective it has been a genius move that has even surpassed the Red Bull promotions machine. With Newey saying that he suspects they have a secret new device is the icing on the cake for them. They already have a great engine and with the new rules they could have an advantage beause if you remember in 2009 Brawn pointed out that he tried to get thwe working group to limit double diffuser exploitation to prevent what what developed in that area. So even though he went on to win that year and the rest foolowed his lead, there must have been other options he wanted to explore that weren’t viable under the dd regs.
        I guess we will find out now what that other card up his sleeve was.

        1. Should be fascinating…they’re going to need a ‘secret new device’ to leap near to, let alone over Red Bull, and Mac, and presumably Ferrari, if you go by where they were last year and assuming these 3 have all improved over where they were last year. So it was always going to be one thing to catch up coming from a distant 4th in the Constructors. And if they have said ‘secret device’ we still need to see their tire behaviour, fuel economy, reliability etc. Would love anybody to give Red Bull a run for their money, and would love it even more if it was NR.

          1. According to Adrian Newey this “secret new device” can be copied quickly because they are trying very hard to keep it secret.

            1. Wishful thinking from AN IMHO, they weren’t able to copy it fast enough in ’09 so why should it be different this time. I’m guessing that the whole car would need to be redesigned to benefit from the assumed and already ledgendary breakthrough giving them a clear head start. Nice to see AN rattled though. :)

            2. @Bobdredds because they weren’t trying to cover it up in 2009. This innovation is supposedly a lot easier to copy. The DDD was never easy to copy.

            3. Where was AN supposed to have commented on this “secret new device”. Any links?

    2. I’m surprised it’s all livery’d up to be honest. Don’t teams usually paint their cars black or some mad contrasting scheme to stop prying eyes from examining bodywork?

      1. I guess the this way its harder to tell the difference from last years car. And They would not have enough time to get it painted before shipping it to Barcelona for next week.

      2. Perhaps there is less concern than ever over prying eyes because with such limited testing no team is going to be able to look at someone elses bodywork at this stage, trust from a shakedown that they are even seeing the team’s final solutions, decide they need to change theirs because of what they saw, and expect that they could just make components at the drop of a hat, and tack that on their car in hopes it is to some benefit and not detriment due to foregoing the wind tunnel work they had been doing all off-season that encompasses how their car works aerodynamically from tip to tail.

        The teams are still trying to understand in real track time terms what they have created for themselves for this year. A mere look at another team’s car will only draw interest and not until all teams understand their cars fully will they know any changes in direction they may need to take at which point they might take some ideas from other teams’ take on things and potentially try them out. Probably in a wind tunnel first to see how it affects everything on the car. Before long all the teams will have all the visuals they can possibly digest of all aspects of their opponents cars.

      3. They are hell bent on establishing the “Silver Arrows” moniker to describe the team so I am not surprised that all public demo’s are in silver.

      4. Wouldn’t make much of a “filming day” if it wasn’t all liveried up!

    3. What a noise.

      1. Oooooooooh yeah!!! :-D

      2. Oh how i have missed that noise, i nearly had an accident in my pants.

          1. You guys should change your names to “dribbler and Peeair”. How much can be determined by this all but brief passing of the Mercedes is questionable. I agree the best part was the sound.

            1. Sadly that noise will be gone in 2014 :(

    4. Major scoop! Well done Android boy and F1 Fanatic!

      Excuse my ignorance and I’m not questioning the legality but I’m interested to know – how are they able to perform this kind of testing when it’s not at an official session. This an old car with a new nose or something do you think?

      1. teams are allowed 100km of shakedown. Or it could be 50km. I forget

        1. Ah interesting! Thanks Raymond – I’ve learned something new today!

          Make sense they don’t cart the lot to Jerez I guess only to find out there’s a fundamental issue.

        2. The team only tested for 3 days at Jerez so they are allowed a day of real testing at Silverstone :)

          1. @daniel I think it’s actually for the reason @Raymondu999 stated… teams are allowed to do 100km of ‘filming’ on demo tyres – not testing as such but as @James said would flag up any ‘fundamental issues’

            1. Yes… but what will they do with that 4th day of tests they missed at Jerez. Any ideas?

            2. They lose that day. They are only allowed to test on certain days, with all the teams. They don’t get a day back just because they decided not to run. Otherwise HRT would have done as much testing as racing between the first and last races of 2011.

            3. Have you seen this?
              It looks like they defferred the last day of testing until today.

            4. They have now completed 200km’s at Barcelona ahead of tuesdays test as part of their agreed alocation. That is not cheap and I wonder if thats covered by the RRA.:) Surely they must have a tactical advantage at this stage.

            5. It seems Mercedes didn`t lose that day of testing and used it today to test W03 in Barcelona

    5. Can a picture be posted as my work don’t allow youtube… I suppose I could wait the three or four hours till I get home but the suspense is too great! :D

      1. I see there is a small picture in the link to the article, but anything slightly clearer would be fantastic!

    6. Looks like it’s longer than the W03 (no suprise there), also, looks to feature Ferrari-like exhaust shrouds leading to the inside of the rear wheels.

      1. @proesterchen That IS the W03… how can something be longer than itself?

        1. I think you know what he meant!

        2. Clearly a typo, should read W02, my bad.

    7. That is pretty much exactly where I sat at last years Grand Prix. Awesome! Brings back the memories :)

    8. my dad’s just text me he is there watching at the stow circuit and got some pictures I’ll see if he’ll send them in if you like Keith

      1. I know I’m not Keith, but that would be amazing if he could send those in!

    9. Chalk another down to the ‘stepped nose’ club. Makes Mclaren look even more odd now. But then again the ‘U’ sidepods last year were not conventional either. When comparing Mclaren and Ferrari it always feels like Mclaren are willing to try something different while Ferrari tend to be more conventional. Not saying that either one is better than the other, just that how the 2 teams follow different approaches. Cant wait for the next test to see what Mercedes come up with :) !!

      1. @MahavirShah to be honest with you this year it’s pretty much the opposite. McLaren is doing a safe evolution while the Ferrari is the more radical car

        1. thats one way of looking at it yes.but i think what he meant was how ferrari (like all the other teams) have gone for the stepped nose whilst mclaren haven’t..

          the ferrari is a radical step away from last years car, yes. but not so radical when compared to all the other cars which makes the mclaren look the more radical design in that sense.. you’re both right but you’re both wrong :) haha

          1. Yeah just imho and noses aside, Mac moreso than Ferrari, between 2010 and 2011, decided they needed to go more ‘radical’ to compete against Red Bull and both teams had curve balls thrown at them due to the combinatiion of EBD, the new tires, and DRS. With that combination of aspects it was a bit of a crap shoot as to how things would work for each team when combined. They learned alot last year. This year is the result of said learning. Ferrari, being 3rd in the WCC last year, needed to try something ‘radical’ although I think they would term it ‘necessary.’ Mac has perhaps dialed it back from ‘radical’ and gone more back to ‘basics’, none of them needing to design their cars around EBD like Newey has said last year’s Red Bull was.

          2. Yes it becomes all relative does’nt it, which makes F1 all the more interesting and this part of the season so full of excitement, to see who has thought of what.

          3. @nemo87 it’s still a safe choice for McLaren. Since 2010 they’ve used the same nose; and so they’re choosing a path they’ve already understood. A stepped nose would have been unknown territory to them.

            1. totally agree with you. as i said there’s two ways of looking at it.. the way you just explain and then theres the way of say, a newcomer. someone who hasnt watched the sport before and is doing so for the 1st time this year. to them, the mclaren could look the more ‘radical’ design as it is unique looking compared to the rest of the grid

    10. I want to hear a animal documentary voice over person whispering over it. “Here you can see a common platypus nose 2012 car”

        1. No one does documentaries like David. To think he once got the horro of being promoted to a desk job at the beeb.

      1. @GeorgeDaviesF1 it wouldn’t be complete without Steve Irwin stalking the McLaren and saying how it’s a rare species because of its nose :P

    11. nice high res pic of car in the distance!

      1. Jim (@vortexgenerator)
        16th February 2012, 19:07

        Might just be the angle of the pic, but there looks like some serious wing bending going on there!

        1. Its just the body roll, Looks like the image is taken at stowe & this sort of roll in the chassis happens all the time there.

          1. Sorry meant club not stowe, also looks like the cars sliding which would also see a big weight transfer which would also cause some body roll.

          2. scarbsf1 mentions that the wing is ‘rolling’ quite alot more than usual. and he knows his stuff!

    12. Why not a English site has put the news where Hamilton admits that their car is not fast, that they probably made a mistake by going with the nose the chose to put on it and that his fastest lap was on low fuel and even by that , he was. 1 second slower than alonsos’s time? I read that in other web sites but it seems that no one has put it on any English web page?

      1. Because its complete nonsense.

        1. How do you know that?

          Its been reported in several places in the German media & has quotes from some respected sources.

          1. I suspect that Lewis is preparing for long negotiations on a new contract and if those comments are true they would be a justification to postpone signing a new deal. Lewis is a very hot property in the driver market and his managemnt wouldn’t be doing their job properly if they didn’t maximise that value. Regardless of future posturing from interested parties regarding “growing up with McLaren”, there will be no sentimentality in these negotiations IMHO. In my view the best commercial fit for him would be in a Ferrari and if he goes there I wouldn’t be at all surprised. I also suspect he misses the total lurve he got when he was HK’s team mate and Jenson is taking a little bit too much of that from him. There is no such thing as real driver equality in F1, it’s a myth because human nature dictates that one will always be preferred over the other at different times.
            Anyway it’s time for him to move on.

            1. Ferrari? With Alonso there? That’s a fool’s errand. I still think Lewis’ best chance to drive somewhere else at this point is at Mercedes. UNLESS Seb decides to go there instead, freeing up a seat at Red Bull for Lewis.

            2. Why is it a fools errand? The new paradigm in F1 top teams is to have 2 fast drivers and whichever one takes the title they still win. This is also down to the fact that the big money is in the constructors championship, something McLaren haven’t managed to do since ’98. It wouldn’t be the same as their stint with McLaren as both are established now. Alonso was very supportive of Lewis last season when he was coming under a lot of criticism and while it may be from genuine mutual appreciation at this stage, I got the impression that it could also be a bit of forward thinking. From Ferrari’s point of view it would be a commercial master stroke and would be a typical LDM move. Remember he tried it with Kimi and Schumi but Michael retired instead. And would it really be any different to teaming up with Jenson or Vettel?

      2. Lol well while we are on hypothetical questions, why has no one reported that Red Bull got it wrong & Vettel is preparing newer & better ways to spit his dummy because he has a car that cannot win races???


        Just a guess ;-) At least its obvious you are looking forward to the new season as much as the rest of us though!

        1. Maybe not but the Red Bull guys are pointing the finger at Merc, sorry, The Silver Arrows and they dont seem as confident as one would expect.
          Vettel surely has his eye on both TSA and Ferrari anyway but it’s too early to move beause as you point out IT IS NOT KNOWN YET and he does have an odds on chance the RB will be up there anyway this season. G’night all.:)

          1. you’re not making any sense mate.

            1. Who are you replying to and about what?

    13. Might that respected source be similar to the one that created an imaginary source inside Mclaren in Brazil 2007?
      And a respected source is only one that hasn’t been caught manufacturing facts.

    14. I cant’ wait for details!!

    15. kenneth Ntulume
      17th February 2012, 9:47

      This season is already shaping up!!!!!!
      The, drama, intrigue, suspense, thrilling scoops…………………..
      There is nuthin like F1 in sport surely.

    16. Yes yes yes. More helmet cam footage please. Was it the end of 2008 when DC raced with one for all of 1/2 corners at Brazil? Seems to have cropped up in a few practice sessions and I think Giedo Van Der Garde had one in a GP2 race at Monza last year but otherwise has not been used anywhere near enough for my liking.

      Does anyone know if there is any particular reason holding it back?

      1. Argh. Posted on wrong article! Feel free to delete and tidy up, Keith!

    17. Ok, this is awkward. The Mercedes has been the nicest looking car, in my opinion, for the past 2 years and this stepped nose will just detract from that. That said, everyone but McLaren is doing it so I guess it’s all relative.

    18. I would very much love for this to be a car with all sorts of fake parts to throw off the likes of Adrian Newey, who claims to be “worried” about the W03.

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