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No 'big surprises' on new Mercedes
Mercedes' Norbert Haug says the new W03 will not surprise onlookers when it is launched in Barcelona tomorrow morning.
The new car will be unveiled at the Circuit de Catalunya ahead of the opening day of the second pre-season test, with Mercedes becoming the last of the front-running teams to launch its 2012 car. The delayed launch led to speculation that an innovative feature was being concealed, with Adrian Newey assuming that the team was hiding something. Haug, however, says that there's nothing visual that will draw interest.
"I don't think that your eye will be caught by any big surprises when you see the car during the unveiling," Haug told Autosport. "But I certainly hope that we have some clever solutions and we have some good ideas incorporated on the car. It's a good base to work from and certainly we will not turn the world upside down, but we do need to make a good step [with this car]."
Haug added that the new car was an evolution of the previous two Mercedes and that the team was undergoing a learning process to try and close the gap to the top three.
"I wouldn't say that it's a new start. This car is the product of what we have learned in the last two years. We had three podium finishes in the first year, but last year we did not head in the right direction. We had some highs, like the Chinese Grand Prix when the track was front-tyre limited and the performance was a little better. But over the course of the year it wasn't good enough.
"To be a regular contender with Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren is quite a task. We need to learn, we need to develop our team in that direction and I'm sure that we can do that."