Date: 10th February 2013 at 8:42pm
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It wasn’t the start of the new winter testing season that Mercedes would have wanted.

The first day was hampered by a fire which curtailed Nico Rosberg’s opening day in the new 2013 car, then Lewis Hamilton suffered a break problem which saw his day cut short.

But some much needed mileage came in the final two days of testing.

Nico Rosberg managed to get 148 laps in on Thursday while Lewis Hamilton followed that up with 145 laps on Friday.

It’s all about gathering data on their new cars, testing different settings and getting prepared for the new season and the final two day sessions left the Mercedes team optimistic.

‘The step we have to make from the end of last year to this year is pretty substantial and it is a moving target as well, But what I see at the team as a whole is very encouraging. It’s the first [Mercedes] car that Aldo [Costa] has designed and the aero group seems to be working well, so lots of encouraging signs. Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn told Autosport Magazine.

‘We know what happened last year, we know what we have to do this year. So we need to quietly get on with it and make sure we don’t panic and make sure we do things in the right way.’

New driver Lewis Hamilton was also encouraged by the new car in his first laps since switching from McLaren to Mercedes.

The 2008 Formula One World Champion told the BBC: ‘It seems we’re not in a bad starting place so it must be a big improvement for [the team], I feel like it’s a good platform, a good foundation to work on.’

‘It’s been good to get some laps in, Obviously Nico got 148 laps in. I think that’s the most I’ve ever seen. Today to get some running in, it’s great to get a feeling for the car.’

The next winter test session will be in Barcelona February 19-22.