Snow halts Mercedes promotional day

Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 W06 Hybrid car
Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 W06 Hybrid car

Blizzard conditions brought a premature end to Mercedes’ maiden outing of this year’s new challenger for the Formula One world titles.

The reigning constructors’ champions kickstarted their campaign with a promotional day of track time - allowed under FIA regulations - at Silverstone.

The car, known as the F1 W06 Hybrid, took to the Northamptonshire circuit for its shakedown just after 1pm with Nico Rosberg at the wheel.

Rosberg, last year’s title runner-up, then handed over the car to team-mate and current drivers’ champion Lewis Hamilton.

The duo completed a total of 18 laps, just over 47 kilometres, before heavy snow brought filming to a halt.

The car will make its full debut on Sunday on the opening day of the first pre-season test in Jerez, southern Spain, with Rosberg on track, and Hamilton taking over on day two.

McLaren have launched their 2015 car as they look to use their renewed partnership with both Honda and Fernando Alonso to return to winning ways after two years in the Formula One wilderness.

The Woking-based marque will be running Honda engines for the first time since 1992 and, in Alonso and Jenson Button, have a driver line-up with three F1 drivers’ titles between them.

Both the 2013 and 2014 seasons were disappointing for a name steeped in such heritage within the sport with no wins in either year, but McLaren chief executive Ron Dennis is hopeful a new package with Honda can put the team on the path to a ninth constructors’ championship.

“Although our renewed alliance began again many months ago, the launch of the McLaren-Honda MP4-30 marks the start of a lengthy journey,” Dennis said at the unveiling of the 2015 car.

“We’ve come a long way already and, although there’s a lot of work to do before we can expect to repeat the level of success we enjoyed together 25-or-so years ago,” he added.