The MERCEDES GP PETRONAS 2010 car, the MGP W01, made its debut in Valencia this morning with Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg unveiling the teams challenger for the new season.
On the first day of Formula One winter testing, the MERCEDES GP PETRONAS garage doors opened at 08:50am for the new car to make its entrance in front of the assembled photographers and camera crews.
Michael, Nico and Team Principal Ross Brawn posed for photos with the new Silver Arrow in its silver and green livery before the car went back into the garage to prepare for the start of the test session at 10:00am.
Nico will be the first of the MERCEDES GP PETRONAS drivers to try out the new car with Michael taking over later today.Source - Mercedes-Benz
MERCEDES GP PETRONAS MGP W01 CAR MAKES DEBUT IN VALENCIA
Formula One's first day of pre-season testing began in Valencia this morning to kick off 15 days of track action ahead of the first race of the 2010 season in Bahrain on 14 March. For MERCEDES GP PETRONAS, the day began with a photocall in the morning sunshine at 8:50am with Nico Rosberg, Michael Schumacher and Ross Brawn showing off the new MGP W01 before the car was rolled back into the garage to prepare for the start of the test programme.
Nico was the first to drive the new Silver Arrow on track with the main focus of his programme to work through the initial set-up of the car and ensure that he was comfortable with his seat and position. Nico drove out of the garage for his first installation run at 10:34 and completed five runs over 39 laps before he finished for the day at 13:40, setting the fourth fastest time - a 01:13.543.
Michael took over the MGP W01 for the remainder of the day for his first run in a current Formula One car since April 2008. Getting out on track just after 15:30, Michael was comfortably on the pace after his first run and spent the remaining track time familiarising himself with the new car. Michael completed 40 laps over three runs, with a fastest lap of 01:12.947 putting him in third place on the timesheets.
Nico will continue the team's programme tomorrow with Michael taking over for the final day.
Nico Rosberg: 'It was a good first day of testing for us and my initial impressions of the new car are very positive. It felt great to be in the car for the first time and to get our pre-season testing programme underway. Generally everything felt good although I was sitting too low in the car and couldn't see the track very well which we will improve for tomorrow. It's too early to get an initial impression of the competitiveness but it was very special to drive the new Silver Arrow out of the garage. I'm looking forward to tomorrow when we have a full day of testing to make further progress.'
Michael Schumacher: '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.'
Ross Brawn: 'We have had a very useful first day of testing here in Valencia. Our priority was to ensure that the new car was functioning properly and allow both drivers to use their short window of track time to get acclimatised to the car and its operations. Today's work has provided a good basis for the next couple of days and it was rewarding to see that the car ran reliably. I would like to say thank you to everyone at the factories in Brackley and Brixworth for all their hard work in preparing the car to test here this week. And finally, it's been a very special day to work with Nico for the first time, to work with Michael once again and to complete our first active day as the Mercedes-Benz works team.'Source - Mercedes-Benz
MERCEDES APPRENTICES IN THE LIMELIGHT AT TEAM PRESENTATION
On Monday 25 January, the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart saw the opening of a new chapter in the illustrious history of the Silver Arrows, as the livery of the new Silver Arrow was presented against the background of models from the past.
At 11.14am, four apprentices from the Mercedes-Benz factories in Sindelfingen and Úntertürkheim wheeled out a Formula One car from the 2009 season in the new Silver Arrow livery of the MERCEDES GP PETRONAS team.
'Incredible. That was an experience I'll never forget,' said Simon Küffner (22) from Haigerloch. 'It was unbelievably exciting to be in one room or on stage with all the big names and to get a glimpse behind the scenes. I was really impressed by all the hard work that went into making the event go so smoothly.'
The presentation was also a very special occasion for 17-year-old Sarah Wurster from Aidlingen. 'Today's presentation made a big visual impression that will stay with me for a long time,' she §äid. 'It's not often that an apprentice can experience such an event at first hand, and it's marvellous that my training at Mercedes-Benz has given me this opportunity.'
Claudia Lengerer (23) from Kirchheim was fascinated by the whole occasion. 'I'm so proud to have seen all the stars and I was really pleased by how charming everyone was to us. Thank you to Mercedes-Benz for allowing me to be part of this occasion. I'll never forget the day.'
'It was so interesting to get this close-up view of the MERCEDES GP PETRONAS team,' said Darko Turcan (19) from Stuttgart, the fourth member of the group. 'I was also delighted by the chance to see what goes on behind the scenes and feel privileged to have played an active part in that days event.'
The four apprentices were selected by their supervisors as a reward for outstanding performance during their training period.Source - Mercedes-Benz
CELEBRITY GUESTS ATTEND MERCEDES GP PETRONAS TEAM PRESENTATION
600 specially invited guests were in Stuttgart on Monday to celebrate the official launch of the new MERCEDES GP PETRONAS Formula One team ahead of the 2010 season.
The presentation was attended by Michael Schumacher's wife Corinna, AMG founder and ITR chairman Hans Werner Aufrecht, world boxing champion Vitaly Klitschko, former McLaren Mercedes Formula One driver David Coulthard, former Formula One driver and DTM star Ralf Schumacher, record DTM championship winner Bernd Schneider, plus Mercedes-Benz DTM drivers Gary Paffett, Paul Di Resta, Bruno Spengler, Jamie Green, Maro Engel and Mathias Lauda.
In addition to 200 representatives of the media, 200 Mercedes-Benz employees were also invited to attend the launch. They had been specially selected as a reward for outstanding service to the company or had been fortunate enough to secure one of the hundred tickets for the occasion that had been advertised on the Mercedes intranet – all of which had been snapped up within 21 minutes of going online.
The presentation of the MERCEDES GP PETRONAS team took place in a fitting location – the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart where examples of the legendary Silver Arrow from all epochs are on display. The Mercedes-Benz Museum was re-opened in May 2006 on the Mercedes-Benz World site. The nine-storey building comprises around 17,000 square metres of exhibition space.Source - Mercedes-Benz
MICHAEL SCHUMACHER JOINS MERCEDES GP PETRONAS
The MERCEDES GP PETRONAS Formula One Team can confirm today that seven-times Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher will make his racing return in 2010 with the Silver Arrows team.
With seven Drivers' World Championships, 248 Grand Prix starts, 91 victories, 154 podium finishes and 68 pole positions, the 40-year old German needs no introduction following an illustrious and record-breaking Formula One career from 1991 to 2006 at the Jordan, Benetton and Ferrari teams.
Michael's return to racing with MERCEDES GP PETRONAS sees his return to Mercedes-Benz Motorsport where he began his racing apprenticeship as part of the Junior Programme in 1990, racing in Group C sports cars and DTM, and sees Michael renew his partnership with Ross Brawn with whom he won all seven of his World Championships.
Today's announcement confirms the MERCEDES GP PETRONAS driver line-up for the 2010 season with Michael partnering his compatriot, 24 year old Nico Rosberg, in the Silver Arrows cars.
Michael Schumacher: ''MERCEDES GP PETRONAS represents a new challenge for me both in a sporting and a personal context. It is a new chapter in my racing career and I am really looking forward to working with my old friend Ross Brawn and my companions from my days with the Mercedes Junior Programme. I am convinced that together we will be involved in the fight for the Formula 1 World Championship next year and I am already looking forward to getting back onto the race track. For me, this partnership closes the circle. Mercedes supported me for so many years when I began my Formula 1 career and now I can hopefully give something back to the brand with the star.'
Nico Rosberg: 'It is fantastic that Michael is returning to Formula One and will be my team-mate at MERCEDES GP PETRONAS. It's a great challenge for me to be up against one of the best drivers of all time. I'm sure that we will form a very strong partnership as he will have lost none of his speed! It is also great news for our sport and the fans.'
Ross Brawn, Team Principal of MERCEDES GP PETRONAS: 'I am delighted that we can confirm today that Michael will make his much-anticipated return to Formula One next year and drive for our MERCEDES GP PETRONAS team. As seven-time World Champion, Michael's outstanding record in Formula One speaks for itself and I am looking forward to working with him again. With the completion of our driver line-up, I believe that we now have the most exciting partnership in Formula One with Michael and Nico, who provide the perfect mix of talent, experience, speed and youth. We can now turn our full attention to the preparations for the new season and everyone at MERCEDES GP PETRONAS is extremely excited about the challenge ahead. With the investment and support in our team provided by Daimler, Aabar and our new title partner Petronas, and with two such exciting drivers, we have all of the building blocks in place to have another successful season in 2010.'
Norbert Haug, Vice-President of Mercedes-Benz Motorsports: 'In April 1991, when I had been in charge of the Mercedes-Benz Motorsport programme for just six months, Michael was standing beside me on the balcony one evening. Without the slightest doubt, he said in a low voice: 'It's about time that I got into Formula 1'. Michael had just turned 22 years of age and four months later, he made his debut at Spa in a Jordan. Mercedes-Benz helped him to this point and the rest is history: seven World Championship titles, more than any racing driver, 91 Grand Prix wins, more than any racing driver. Michael has more of everything than every other driver. As part of the Mercedes Junior Programme, Michael had raced in Group C sports cars and competed in a few DTM races. Ross Brawn, then our opponent at Jaguar, quickly realised Michael's talent and they went on to win all seven of his Drivers' World Championship titles together at Benetton and Ferrari. Our sporting ambition has always been that Michael should drive again where his professional career had started and Michael knew that. We often joked about it after the races and discussed the prospect seriously several times during the last 14 years in Formula 1. It didn't happen in 1995, it didn't happen in 1998 and it didn't happen in 2005. I am delighted that it will now happen in 2010. I am very much looking forward to working with Michael and everybody at Mercedes-Benz and Daimler extends a very warm welcome to our ‘apprentice' of 19 years ago. That apprentice is now the most successful racing driver of all time.'Source - Mercedes-Benz
MERCEDES GP SIGNS LONG-TERM AGREEMENT WITH PETRONAS
Mercedes GP is delighted to announce the signing of a long-term agreement with PETRONAS which will see the Malaysian national oil and gas company become the title partner to the new Silver Arrows works team.
From 2010, the new team will compete in the FIA Formula One World Championship as the Mercedes GP PETRONAS Formula One Team and will carry the distinctive PETRONAS branding across the car and team liveries.
Leveraging Mercedes-Benz's rich motorsport heritage and the long-standing involvement of PETRONAS in Formula One, the new title partnership also paves the way for future collaborations between the two companies. For PETRONAS, the partnership will enable the oil and gas giant to generate sustainable business growth, particularly in their downstream lubricants market, through the strategic partnership and business alliance with Mercedes-Benz, one of the most prestigious global automotive brands.
The Mercedes GP PETRONAS Formula One Team's challenger for 2010 will make its track debut in its new livery at Valencia on 1 February 2010 for the first of the pre-season tests ahead of the 2010 Formula One season.
PETRONAS will continue to be the title sponsor of the PETRONAS Malaysian Grand Prix, scheduled to be the third race of the new season, which will take place at the Sepang International Circuit on 4 April 2010.
Norbert Haug, Vice-President of Mercedes-Benz Motorsports, said: 'We are very pleased to begin our long-term partnership with our new title partner PETRONAS. Daimler, our premium brand Mercedes-Benz and PETRONAS will work together both on and off the track and I am sure that everybody involved will guarantee their absolute dedication to success. PETRONAS' home base in Kuala Lumpur is located in the middle of a fast-growing region for the automotive industry which makes this new partnership even more valuable. Within the limits of the new Formula One resource restrictions, the Mercedes GP PETRONAS Formula One Team will be well positioned to achieve our goals. We will all strive to present efficient success in the future knowing at the same time that the new Formula One season with some fundamental rule changes will be a particularly challenging one.'
Ross Brawn, Team Principal of the Mercedes GP PETRONAS Formula One Team commented: 'Everyone at Mercedes GP is delighted to confirm our long-term agreement with PETRONAS and we look forward to working closely with our new partner in the future. The collaboration of the premium automotive brand Mercedes-Benz and a company as prestigious as PETRONAS gives our team a fantastic base from which to achieve our ambitions of competing at the top level of Formula One and building on the success of 2009 which saw the team achieve the Constructors' and Drivers' Championships. Our plans for the new season are progressing well, as is the development of our 2010 challenger, and we look forward to seeing the car run in the new Silver Arrows and PETRONAS livery at the Valencia test in February.'Source - Mercedes-Benz
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