Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn reckons his team still has a long way to go catch World Champion squad Red Bull Racing
At the beginning of the first day's testing at Barcelona, Brawn insisted that it was still too early to say whether the new car will move Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg closer to the front of the field this season, but said that he expected Red Bull to be there whatever the order.
"I think we can see that naturally Red Bull is not going to deteriorate overnight, so they will have a very strong car I'm sure," he said. "McLaren will be good, Ferrari perhaps having a challenging time at the moment but I'm sure they will get their car together because they are a very strong and experienced team.
"I think it will be a similar group quite frankly. We have to break the mold and move up. I'm not sure who we can displace but I think we are all battling to match Red Bull, which have demonstrated over the last few years how strong they are."
Brawn added that he had been reasonably happy with the car's first day running in company, after the W03 was shaken down at Silverstone last week and had a day's running in private at Barcelona over the weekend. Schumacher, the team's nominated driver for Tuesday, completed 51 laps and ended the sessions sixth fastest with a time of 1m24.150s.
"I think it's too early to judge, but we are reasonably happy, as much as you can be on the first day, trying to get your references," Brawn said when asked about his first impressions of the W03. "The car seems to behave sensibly, nothing odd. It's correlating with what we expected, and now we have to learn about the car and drivers have to learn how to use it.
"We had a small hydraulic problem which spoiled the running, which was a shame, so we're just trying to understand that. Sure we will get that fixed for tomorrow. Reasonably happy with the first day, taking that into account."