His 2013 teammate, Rosberg, was lapping on the day before official test action begins, after Mercedes booked the Spanish test circuit for a filming day.
Michael Schmidt, the correspondent for the specialist German magazine Auto Motor und Sport, was one of those at Jerez getting an early first glimpse at the silver car.
"The first impression is disappointing," he said.
"At first glance the car seems quite conservative, with long and relatively crude sidepods.
"With a first look we could not see any major innovations."
Meanwhile, Germany's Sport Bild is reporting that Michael Schumacher has been signed up by Mercedes parent Daimler as a brand ambassador.