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Red Bull wary of new Mercedes

ESPNF1 Staff
February 16, 2012 « Pirelli announces compound choices for opening races | Whitmarsh hopeful of FOTA future »
Adrian Newey: "I assume that they want to hide something from the competition" © Sutton Images
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Red Bull's Adrian Newey believes that Mercedes is launching its car later than its rivals in order to hide something from the rest of the teams.

The new Mercedes W03 will be launched on February 21 as the second pre-season test gets underway in Barcelona. Mercedes said it was a trade-off between development time and on-track mileage but with only two tests remaining before the start of the new season Newey believes that the team is trying to conceal a development on the car.

"I assume that they want to hide something from the competition," Newey admitted to Sport Bild. "It must be something that can be copied quite quickly; otherwise they wouldn't try so hard to keep it secret."

Mercedes - under its previous guise as Brawn - has previously succeeded with a late launch in 2009 when a car featuring a double diffuser was only run at the final two tests but went on to win both championships. Newey was not alone in believing Mercedes had discovered some sort of innovation once again, with Helmut Marko adding: "They seem to have something special at the front of the car."

Nico Rosberg carried out a shakedown of the new W03 for Mercedes at Silverstone on Thursday.