Ross Brawn says he is 'pretty pleased' with the W04 after it made its track debut
Team Principal also underlines his commitment to Mercedes
By William Esler. Last Updated: 05/02/13 4:24pm
Ross Brawn says he will have a good idea of how competitive the W04 will be by the end of the Jerez test and has downplayed speculation over his future at the team.
The 2013 Mercedes challenger was revealed to the world at Jerez on Monday, where Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton gave the car a shakedown.
The W04 is the first car the team have produced since a raft of changes were made to its design department and Brawn is hopeful they will see the fruits of those appointments.
"I'm pretty pleased, but we have to see how testing goes over the next few days to get our first snap shot of the car," Brawn told Sky Sports News.
"But it has gone together well, we are quite excited as this is the first product of our engineering restructuring of 2012 and those changes take time to come through.
"So this is the first car that Aldo Costa will have done as part of the team and it is very nice car - it is a credit to all the people involved. The real test will be how it performs on the track."
Nico Rosberg branded the car a 'major step forward' after his first run in the car, but Brawn was more reserved, instead waiting until seeing how his car faired against the competition before passing judgement.
"It is far too early - until you get other cars running on the track it is not clear," he continued.
"Today was more of a filming day, you saw a lot of camera cars going round, so it is just his first impression.
"Once we get running we can make a proper judgement, but nothing seems to be untoward with the car. Sometimes with a new car you can head out and it feels a bit strange and you have to find out what is going on, but it all seems ok."
Mercedes have opted for a partial 'vanity panel' to cover the stepped nose and Brawn says it is a performance piece, rather than cosmetic.
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.
"Everything has to pay for itself - a Formula 1 team are not too worried about the aesthetics of the car," he explained.
"In our case that panel, which is very lightly constructed, pays for itself and we gained more performance from it than we lost from the weight.
"Obviously other people have found other solutions - I see McLaren have gone for a high nose compared to the low nose last year. There are a whole variety of solutions but for us it pays for itself."
That is not the only part Brawn hopes will give them an advantage with a new front wing due to arrive once testing gets underway.
"We haven't got it on the car, but we do have quite an interesting front wing which we will have later in the week and we have a number of exhaust solutions we want to try in these next few tests as that is an area we weren't strong enough in last year," the Team Principal said.
"We didn't understand what was going on and to find better solutions in that area we have a number to try this week."
Lewis Hamilton told Sky Sports F1 he didn't feel he had had a chance yet to influence the design of the W04, but Brawn says his new recruit has helped to add a new viewpoint in the factory.
"In the short space of time he has been pushing very hard," the 58-year-old said.
"He is very motivated and very committed and that is very exciting for a lot of the engineers - it is always interesting when you get a different perspective on things. We worked with Nico and Michael (Schumacher) for a long time and Lewis has brought a different perspective to things. I am really impressed with his level of professionalism and we are now getting to know Lewis in the car."
With the arrival of Niki Lauda and Toto Wolff at the Silver Arrows and speculation Paddy Lowe could follow Hamilton from McLaren, the paddock rumour-mill had suggested Brawn could be on his way out. However, Brawn says he plans on remaining with the team for the foreseeable future.
"Formula 1 like any top-level sport is dynamic and if the team doesn't perform you have to make changes," he said.
"I am here for the foreseeable future, we have done these engineering changes and I want to see their performance and a step forward in that respect. If we move forward and are successful then things will be simple - if we don't then things will get complicated.
"I'm very excited and motivated by what we have put together and the restructuring and I want to make sure we take full advantage of it."