BRACKLEY, England (AP) -- Mercedes will launch its new W06 car on the first day of pre-season winter testing in southern Spain next month, the team said in a statement Monday.
Mercedes easily secured a drivers' and constructors' double last year, with British driver Lewis Hamilton finishing 67 points ahead of Germany's Nico Rosberg.
Rosberg will take the wheel on the first day of testing at the Jerez circuit on Feb. 1, and on the third day. Two-time F1 champion Hamilton drives on the second and fourth days.
The Silver Arrows crushed the competition last season with the W05 finishing 296 points clear of Red Bull.
However, head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Toto Wolff expects tougher competition this year, saying "we are certain that our rivals will be competitive from the opening race in Melbourne."