Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn says he is pleased with their progress in pre-season testing.
Concerns were raised over the performance of the W02 earlier in testing but the team appeared to take a step forward in the final test in Barcelona.
Brawn said: “Our pre-season programme has gone as well as we could have wanted.
“However, as always, the first race will be the real measure of where we are in terms of competitiveness. Everyone is eagerly waiting to see how the grid shakes out in Melbourne, and wherever we find ourselves, we will respond accordingly.”
He expects the team to make better progress during the season than they did last year:
“Our ability to react strongly has improved considerably over the past twelve months and we have a robust development plan in place for the season.
“2011 will be the second season with our drivers, Michael and Nico, and this continuity, together with our well-established relationships, has enabled both the drivers and team to prepare well for the challenges ahead.”
Mercedes Motorsport vice president Norbert Haug said: “The final test in Barcelona with our planned technical updates saw us take a step forward which is a tribute to the dedication and hard work of our whole team.
“There are still a lot of question marks about how the racing will unfold in 2011 with the new Pirelli tyres, the adjustable rear wing and the reintroduction of KERS. These are demanding challenges for the drivers, and Michael and Nico have done a good job mastering the new systems and understanding how to get the most out of the tyres.”
He added: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our hard-working team members in Brackley, Brixworth and Stuttgart for their relentless efforts since the final chequered flag of last season.
“The best reward for all of us would be to start the new season in a stronger position compared to 2010.”
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