The news was reported by French commentator Jean-Louis Moncet, who wrote in his Auto Plus column that the 2011 Mercedes – code-named the W02 – has been tested by the FIA in similar fashion with how it tested the Ferrari 2011 car shortly after Christmas.
Mercedes GP therefore becomes the second F1 team to have their chassis crash tested successfully a month before the official start of the winter testing. Several other crash tests will follow, but it is believed this first one was the most important. The ones to follow will focus on car parts.
While the location of Ferrari's crash test was disclosed – it happened at the CSI facility near Milan – Moncet did not disclose the facility where the Mercedes W02 was tested. What's interesting is that the news comes in the same day Michael Schumacher is celebrating his 42nd anniversary.
Both the Ferrari and the Mercedes engineers and designers will work at full speed to ensure the main package for the 2011 campaign will be up and ready by late January, when their challengers will be disclosed to the media. A few days later, the first official test of the winter kicks off in Valencia, on the Ricardo Tormo Circuit, where the majority of the F1 teams will present their new cars for 2011.