Toto Wolff has played down suggestions that Mercedes is favourite for the championship this year having got the jump on its rivals.
Mercedes managed to shake its car down at Silverstone during a filming day a week ago, and was then in a position to take to the track at 9am on Tuesday morning at Jerez. Although Lewis Hamilton's day was cut short after a crash caused by a front wing failure, it was an encouraging morning for Mercedes as it completed the most laps by the time its running ended.
By contrast, reigning champions Red Bull
failed to get the RB10 out on track until the final hour of the opening day, but Wolff doesn't believe his team has gained any early advantage.
“I think that you can't say anything after the first day of testing at Jerez,” Wolff said. “We have been pretty motivated and the guys – like all of the other teams I guess – have been pushing flat out. We wanted to be first out this morning and we achieved it, the car was feeling OK, the car was driving for 18 laps but you can't see anything at that stage. It's much too early, so I guess we have to go in to the first couple of weekends and then we're going to see how it pans out.”
With the sound of the new V6 turbo engines the centre of much attention, Wolff believes the real impact of the engine noise has yet to be seen, with the Mercedes running far from full revs.
“The rule change is pretty big, but we have seen the car and heard the car at the rollout in Silverstone and the noise was pretty good. You must not forget that what we're doing here is basically a system check and the shakedown.
“Once you hear the car at full revs, flat out and with more cars then I think in a couple of months nobody is really going to speak about the old engine sound anymore. I'm not really worried, there is a lot of talking at the moment but in my humble opinion there is not going to be a big drama for Formula One.”