From Silverstone to Spa! Rosberg puts in the mileage to give Hamilton's Mercedes much-needed boost in Jerez
19:08 GMT, 7 February 2013
19:50 GMT, 7 February 2013
Lewis Hamilton has new teammate Nico Rosberg to thank for getting Mercedes' pre-season plans back on track after the German driver reeled off a staggering 148 laps of the Circuito de Jerez on Thursday.
Rosberg's Herculean effort – he put a much needed 407 miles on the new Mercedes W04, the equivalent of two grand prix distances – means it should be all systems go for Hamilton on Friday as he brings to a close the opening test of the 2013 season.
The mammoth stint was in stark contrast to the two previous days of running for Mercedes during which they managed to complete just 29 laps in total.
Going long into the night: Nico Rosberg gave Mercedes a much-needed boost in Jerez on Thursday
New team: Lewis Hamilton, who completed 14 laps yesterday, speaks to Rosberg
On Tuesday, Hamilton suffered a heart in the mouth moment when his brakes failed as he slowed from almost 200mph. After hitting the tyre wall the damage to Hamilton's car was enough to end his day's work after just twenty minutes behind the wheel.
Rosberg fared little better on the first day of action in Southern Spain, an electrical fault which sparked a small fire bring the Mercedes to a premature halt.
Delighted at the change in fortunes, Rosberg said: 'The last two days we were unlucky because they were small things but we were unable to solve them in a day.
Off track: Jenson Button spent most of the morning in the garage before a wobbly wheel forced him to park his McLaren
'Today we really made up for it and put a smile on everyone's face. And it was a fantastic achievement to drive from Silverstone to Spa distance-wise with an F1 car with no problem what so ever. We were very consistent and I am feeling good because I can push it straight away.'
It was a day of mixed fortunes for McLaren as Jenson Button got off to another slow start, spending more of the morning in the garage than on the track.
And after returning to the circuit to complete 83 laps, the 2009 world champion brought the day's events to a close five minutes early when a wobbly rear wheel forced him to park his McLaren MP4-28 between turns seven and eight.