Mercedes drivers Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton  set the fastest times at last week´s first session of pre-season F1 testing in Barcelona.

What was worrying for rival teams in Barcelona last week was Mercedes saying that their new car is “a big step forward” compared with their world championship-winning predecessor.

The second and final pre-season test runs at the Catalan circuit from today(Wednesday) though to Friday, and the first race is in Melbourne, Australia, on Sunday March 15th.

Mercedes technical director James Allison said they would start the season next month with improvements to the aerodynamics and engine.

The team had "a good winter" and produced a series of innovations to try to fend off challenges from rivals, he added.

"We decided we would make a car that was aggressive," he said.

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