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04.05.2012

Barcelona preview, Norbert: “Worked hard to improve competitiveness, consistency & reliability”

Formula One's European season starts next week with the Spanish Grand Prix taking place at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona. A familiar testing venue, the 4.655 km circuit plays host to Round Five of the 2012 World Championship.

The race has been won from pole in nine of the last 10 years; the exception was 2011, when Vettel won from P2. At 730 metres, the run from the start-finish line to the apex of the first corner is the longest of the season.

Spain was one of just two races won on a four-stop strategy last season; the other was the Turkish Grand Prix.

For Ross, "after a hectic start to the season with four races and the test in Mugello, we are all looking forward to the European season getting underway and the familiarity that brings.

The team had a good week in Italy for the test this week where we were able to work both on challenges that affected us during the initial races of the season, and evaluate a number of new developments planned for the forthcoming races.

Spain plays host to the first European race, and although the Circuit de Catalunya is a very familiar venue for the team and our drivers, the weekend will bring its own challenges. I feel confident that we are continuing to make progress, and we will of course be working hard to continue that trend."

Norbert feels that the "first four races of the 2012 season have offered great, thrilling sport for all fans of Formula One.

Eight drivers from six teams on the podium in four races - one more driver than in the entire 2011 season - and four winners from four races for the first time in nearly 30 years; you couldn't ask for more in terms of on-track excitement and unpredictability. No team has yet produced winning form at more than one event and achieving this consistency will be key.

Our MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS team has registered a positive trend: after two difficult races at the start of the season, we were competitive and won in China then,in Bahrain, we were the third-fastest team on race day. We have been hard at work since then to further improve the competitiveness, consistency and reliability of our car.

The Circuit de Catalunya will present a very different challenge next weekend to the ones in the first four races with track temperatures likely to be very different and with new developments on the cars.

We will approach the race weekend in a focused manner in order to maximise our team performance with both drivers."

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