The 2013 Formula One championship gets underway in Melbourne this week with the first race of the season, the Australian Grand Prix, held at the Albert Park circuit in the city. For MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS, 2013 sees an exciting new driver pairing with Lewis Hamilton joining the team to partner Nico Rosberg at the wheel of the Silver Arrows cars.
The Safety Car has been deployed in six of the last ten races in Melbourne - including four of the last five. Mercedes-Benz power has won four of the past five Australian Grands Prix. 60% of Australian Grand Prix winners in the past decade have gone on to become World Champion.
For Ross, “the start of a new Formula One season is always an intense but exciting time for the team. Our factories in Brackley and Brixworth have been buzzing with activity with both Nico and Lewis visiting to complete their final preparations on the simulator, and the team working to finish the cars, engines and pack the freight for the four flyaway races coming up. The first race is where we can really begin to assess our competitive position and how much of a step forward we have made with our new Silver Arrow.
We had a successful pre-season testing programme and personally, I am pleased with the progress we have made, both with the car and in terms of how we operate as a team. However, testing is simply that; racing is a completely different situation and Melbourne will see much higher track temperatures and more varied conditions than we have experienced so far. We're looking forward to the challenge and to the action starting in Melbourne next weekend.”
“When it comes to starting a new season, it's only facts that count” says Toto. “Everything else is simply speculation. The facts are that we had a good winter test programme, completed the second highest mileage of any team and made some good progress. Lewis and Nico are working well together and there is a positive dynamic in the team, from the factory to the track. So we head to Australia well prepared.
But we know, too, that we will be running in very different temperatures, on a different track surface and that every team will have to finally lay their cards on the table in qualifying on Saturday. Only then can we have a first indication of where we stand in terms of performance.
It may sound clichéd but our goal is simply to perform as well as possible. We know that we must go forward from last season and we are proud to be representing Mercedes-Benz on the global stage. Now we have to live up to that standard.”