Mercedes withdraw from first day of Jerez test after just fourteen laps due to a fire
Electrical fault results in an early end to day's running
By Pete Gill. Last Updated: February 6, 2013 11:58am
Mercedes' preparations for the 2013 season have suffered an inauspicious start after a fire on the W04 limited their running on the first day of winter testing to just fourteen laps.
With the morning running at Jerez already interrupted by a red flag brought out by Jenson Button's broken-down McLaren, Nico Rosberg's Mercedes came to a halt with less than two hours on the clock when a small fire suddenly ignited at the rear of his car.
Testing on Sky Sports
From dawn to dusk, Sky Sports Online will be providing live interactive commentary from trackside at both Jerez and Barcelona on every day of testing this winter, while Sky Sports News will be providing regular live updates from the tests, starting with Jerez on February 5-8.
A round-up show featuring the day's interviews from Jerez will go out at 9pm each evening of the test on Sky Sports F1.
And while Button was able to return to the circuit after repairs to a fuel-pump problem, a terse early-afternoon announcement from Mercedes confirmed that the W04's electrical failure had brought their participation to a very early conclusion.
'After identifying the cause of the problem, we will not be running again today whilst parts are modified ready for tomorrow,' the team reported. 'The part which requires modification is the wiring loom where the electrical fault originated this morning.'
While teething problems are neither uncommon nor particularly grievous at the start of winter testing, the problem is nevertheless a blow to a team which is under pressure to deliver a frontrunning performance in 2013.
High-profile recruit Lewis Hamilton is due to debut for the team on Wednesday morning - provided, that is, the team can fix the fault in time.
Mercedes' Jerez schedule
Day One: Nico Rosberg.
Day Two: Lewis Hamilton.
Day Three: Nico Rosberg.
Day Four: Lewis Hamilton.