George Russell has revealed his initial feelings from driving the new Mercedes W13, after having the honour of the first laps in the new machine.
Mercedes used up one of their filming days on Friday by heading along to a wet and windy Silverstone Circuit, where Russell had the chance to drive the new car just hours after the team's season launch.
With the UK being battered by Storm Eunice throughout the day, Russell had to cope with heavy rain and winds and spoke about the dramatic experience with reporters afterwards.
"It's the windiest day I've ever experienced in my whole motorsport career," he told media, including RacingNews365.com, after stepping out of the car to hand over to Lewis Hamilton.
"It was absolutely crazy, but we managed to keep the car on the black stuff.
"To be honest, we just went through the programme, just running it, making sure I'm comfortable, which I am and am pleased about."
As for how the car handled, Russell explained that the conditions meant he could not get a proper feel for the machine.
"The car handled largely as we expected," he went on to comment.
"But, with these conditions in the wet and with the wind, there's not a huge amount you can take from it.
"So far, we're in a good place. I think we're in a good window ahead of Barcelona [testing]."
New Mercedes "in line with what we saw in the simulator"
Having had his first official outing as a 2022 Mercedes Formula 1 driver, Russell was pinching himself when the car got fired up to be sent out on track.
"Well, firstly, they gave me goosebumps when the car was fired up for the first time," he said.
"I've driven so many laps in the simulator, I've seen so many drawings of it, I've had so many meetings about it, but there's nothing like going to a racetrack.
"It almost brings me back to my roots [with] a cold, wet windy day at Silverstone."
Russell also revealed that, from the feeling he did get, there were similarities to the Mercedes simulator back at their Brackley facility.
"I think the facts are, if you take the exact same car when there's no wind, and then you put it in 100 kilometre per hour winds [like] today, it's going to feel very difficult to drive," he said.
"It certainly wasn't easy out there with the conditions, but it was very much in line with what we saw in the simulator. I'll be going back correlating.
"But it's going to be a constant learning process. I think we're all going to take today with a pinch of salt and just get through the programme, make sure the car runs OK, make sure the drivers are comfortable, and make sure we're in the best spot possible."
Video: Are Mercedes playing it safe with the W13 reveal?
Mercedes showed off two different versions of the W13 during their 2022 car launch, with some key differences between the digital and physical models.