Dec.6 (GMM/ Norbert Haug doubts Mercedes will be alone in taking its ‘old’ car to the first pre-season test at Jerez in early February.

The German team announced this week that its 2012 challenger, the W03, will not be given its official track debut until the Barcelona test two weeks later.

Mercedes said the extra time can be better spent designing and developing the car.

“We can do a lot in those two weeks,” the carmaker’s motor racing chief Haug is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport.

From 2012, new cars must pass all the FIA crash tests before they can be tested. In the past, the FIA tests only had to be completed before the race season began.

Referring to the late track debut, Haug revealed: “I doubt we will be the only ones who will do it that way.”

The strategy, however, gives Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg just four days each to try the W03 before it is shipped to Australia for the first race.

“We can now simulate so much at our factory in Brackley,” team chief executive Nick Fry said.

Haug, meanwhile, confirmed that there was no opposition to Mercedes’ application to add the ‘AMG’ moniker to its official name for 2012.

“The governing body and FOM have been informed and there were no objections,” said the German.