New Mercedes quickest in straight line – report image

Mercedes might not have the fastest car overall for 2011, but the W02 is the quickest in a straight line.

That is the finding of Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport, after the team’s Norbert Haug admitted in Barcelona last weekend that the car would struggle to finish in the top ten if a race were held now.

But the German media report insists that Brackley based Mercedes actually made a solid step forward last week and is “the leader in terms of top speed”.

Haug, admitting that a straightline advantage is “important” in light of the close combat expected in 2011, is also sounding more positive than earlier.

“Because we were able to do more laps (in Barcelona), we understand the car and the tyres better. And that brings us laptime,” he said.

Following the cancellation of the pre-race test in Bahrain, the teams’ last outing before Australia will now take place in Barcelona next month.

“If everything goes in the right direction, the Silver Arrow may surprise you,” warned Haug.