Launch of the Mercedes AMG F1 W04 in pictures (w/VIDEO)

Mercedes AMG’s new W04 F1 car took to the track in Jerez this morning with Nico Rosberg at the wheel. His team mate Lewis Hamilton will get his chance tomorrow, but in the meantime he’s getting plenty of practice with his BlackBerry Z10 on the pit wall.

The team announced its new partnership with troubled handset maker RIM (Research in Motion) at yesterday’s launch, coinciding with company’s promotion of its new BlackBerry 10 mobile platform which will deliver tools and services to keep the Mercedes AMG team moving throughout the season.

Rosberg and Hamilton arrived at the official photo call at the wheel of two Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Coupé Black Series, then proceeded to perform for the cameras before getting down to the serious business of revealing the new W04.

Mercedes AMG W04 G4 Launch of the Mercedes AMG F1 W04 in pictures (w/VIDEO)

The aerodynamic design philosophy of the new car has been optimised around a new five-element front wing design and a second-generation Coanda exhaust at the rear, unlike some 2013 cars Mercedes has retained a pushrod front suspension and a pullrod rear suspension, aimed at optimising tyre life and performance, while the rear end has been aggressively packaged to optimise aerodynamic development potential.

Mercedes AMG W04 G3 Launch of the Mercedes AMG F1 W04 in pictures (w/VIDEO)

The F1 W04 also does away with the stepped nose design of its predecessor thanks to a small ‘vanity panel’, which was found to offer a small gain during aerodynamic testing.

Although the new car completed the first few laps of its 4-day test without any trouble, this morning saw the car stop on track due to a dramatic-looking electric fire. The damage looked minor, and the team will continue testing with Rosberg for the rest of the day.

MercedesAMG W04 Nico Fire Jerez Launch of the Mercedes AMG F1 W04 in pictures (w/VIDEO)

Lewis Hamilton gets a proper stint behind the wheel tomorrow morning, but after a few demo laps on Monday spoke optimistically to BBC’s Ben Edwards “Feels like we definitely have some work to do but they’re on demo tyres so I can’t really get a feel for it. Doesn’t feel too bad at all”

Keep an eye on BBC F1 and Autosport Live for up-to-date news from Jerez.

Jerez update from @MercedesAmgF1… after identifying the cause of the problem, we will not be running again today whilst parts are modified ready for tomorrow. The part which requires modification is the wiring loom where the electrical fault originated this morning.

Image credits: Mercedes AMG Petronas, ESPNF1