Mercedes boss Norbert Haug says that the new MGP W03 F1 car, which will be publicly revealed on Tuesday, will not feature any dramatic innovations.
A spy photo of the car at its private test showed that it features a stepped nose, in common with eight of the other teams to have launched 2012 machinery. But despite speculation that Mercedes' decision to skip the first test might be motivated by a desire to hide an as-yet unseen technical innovation, Haug insists that the priority has been to come up with a well-packaged car rather than pursing any eye-catching new concepts.
"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]."
The new car has already taken to the track twice, once during a filming day at Silverstone last Thursday and in a private test at Barcelona yesterday. Haug is hopeful that the W03 will prove the effectiveness of the changes that have been made at the team over the past year, but stopped short of saying it marked a new beginning for Mercedes. He is determined for Mercedes take on the top three teams, but admitted that this has to be viewed as a long-term project given the intensity of competition.
"I wouldn't say that it's a new start," said Haug. "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-tire 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."
The new Mercedes will break cover at Barcelona on Tuesday morning ahead of the start of the second preseason Formula 1 test.