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Mercedes releases preview shots of 2012 car UPDATE Mercedes enjoyed a successful first run of its 2012 Formula 1 car at Silverstone today ahead of its test debut at Barcelona next Tuesday reports AUTOSPORT. The Mercedes F1 W03 completed the 100 kms of running permitted on a filming day using Pirelli demonstration tires, with both Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher taking turns behind the wheel.

Vice president of motorsport Norbert Haug hopes will allow the team to "hit the ground running" next week.

"Judging the performance on a roll-out day is very difficult because you run on demo tires and it was on the short circuit, but the car did everything it was supposed to do," Haug told AUTOSPORT.

"There's a limit of 100 kms so Nico did 50 kms in the morning and then we changed to Michael. There were no teething problems and now we are heading to Barcelona."

Details of the new car are sketchy, but the glimpses seen of the car so far reveal that, like all but one of the teams who have so far unveiled their new machines, it features the so-called 'platypus' nose that only McLaren has opted against.

"The nose is the most discussed issue," said Haug. "It's a stepped nose as some have seen. It's a very nice solution really and a very dynamic one."

02/15/12 Mercedes has posted two sneak preview images of its new 2012 car, the F1 W03. Having started the pre-season testing period with last year’s contender, the new chassis will be formally uncovered before the second test in Barcelona next week.

The images – uploaded to the team’s Facebook and Twitter pages - show the car from two different angles, side-on and aerial. However, on both shots the much talked-about nose section has been blacked out, meaning it remains unknown as to whether the Brackley squad has opted for what has become a somewhat standard ‘platypus’ design for 2012.

By using the 2011 car in Jerez, Mercedes was able to obtain a better comparison of the modified Pirelli tires for this season, as well as giving the new car more factory development time.

Tuesday's launch presentation begins at 8:20am local time (GMT +1) at the Circuit de Catalunya. Michael Schumacher will then be first to drive the car.

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