The Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team were at a very blustery Silverstone circuit in the UK on Thursday where their drivers Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton unveiled the W08 EQ Power+, the car they hope they can challenge for the 2017 world championship with.
The new car was unveiled to Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team fans via a 360 degree camera view on line and speaking about the new car, Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff commented by saying:
The new rules for 2017 were designed to make the fastest F1 cars ever through a big increase in aerodynamic performance. They should be more physical to drive and hopefully more spectacular for the fans to watch. The proof will come in the opening races but we have probably achieved that target.
“Of course, in terms of relative performance, it’s clear that any rule change brings with it a big reset but also a big opportunity. This is the time to stay humble and keep our feet on the ground. None of the teams has raced under these rules and we all have the same points right now: zero.
“But the dominant feeling in the team right now is one of excitement – the factory is buzzing with anticipation. It has been a really motivating challenge to develop a brand new car concept and I have never seen our determination to succeed higher than it is right now.
“Of course, we had a curve ball from Nico late last year that left us scrambling a little bit in the winter. But we found a great solution with Valtteri and I am sure that he will form a strong partnership with Lewis. They have both been working hard in the factory with the technical teams and, although we have a different dynamic to manage than in recent seasons, I don’t expect the competition between them to be less intense. And that’s how we like it.
“This year, in-season development will play a big role in determining the championship outcome. None of us know where we will stand at the first race but I am confident that, whatever that position is, we have the people and the capability to deal with every challenge that comes our way. This will be the season where our full works team can show its true strength.
Three time world champion Lewis Hamilton commented on the new car by saying:
It’s been a fantastic winter and an exciting training season for me.
“I’ve added a new element to my training regime that has kept it really enjoyable and I’m in great shape. Then I’ve visited the factory and that has been super encouraging to see the way in which everybody is working.
“After all the success we have had, people could be sitting back and resting on their achievements. So it’s inspiring to see how everybody is pushing even harder than ever and taking nothing for granted at all.
“This is the most exciting period of the year when the car comes together – and my privilege as a driver is then to get to feel what it’s like and what all the team has worked for.
“There’s not too much point setting goals until we’ve really driven the car, so I’m going to go with the flow until we understand the possibilities.
“I’m feeling in a positive place with the team – we talked about a lot of stuff over the winter, I was able to get some things off my chest and now we are communicating better than ever and continuing to grow together.
“I’m the best equipped I have ever been to work with my team-mate and manage the relationship with my experience and maturity.
“I welcome Valtteri to the team and I know that the team will be giving us both everything they can to win the championship.
It has been a very busy winter for the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team following the departure of Paddy Lowe from his the team and his role as Executive Director (Technical). The Brackley based outfit have also welcomed former Ferrari and Lotus F1 Team technical director James Allison to the team.
Allison will take up his new role with team in early March ahead of the second winter test at the Barcelona Circuit Du Catalunya.
The team also have a new a driver with Valtteri Bottas joining the outfit from Williams Martini Racing replacing world champion Nico Rosberg who retired at the end of last season.
Speaking at the launch of the new car, Valtteri Bottas commented by saying:
It’s a new chapter in my career, a new team, new regulations… new everything!
“I’ve been waiting for a long time to get this car out on track and, although this is just a Filming Day, I’m looking forward to starting to test properly next week in Barcelona and to really understand the car that we’ve been given by everybody in Brixworth and Brackley.
“It has been a busy winter for me since signing with Mercedes and we have tried to make the most of the time we have had.
“We’ve been going day by day, making the most of each one, spending a lot of time in Brackley and going through as much stuff as possible with the engineers.
“I feel well prepared in such a short time but, of course, the learning curve is still steep and I’m getting more useful information every day. It’s up to us to make the most out of the time together.
“In terms of my physical preparation, I think I have done the most amount of training of any winter so far. I have done some good training camps and feel in the best shape I’ve ever been, definitely ready for the season ahead.
“Right now, it’s a very exciting feeling for me. I want to say a big thank you to everyone in our factories for getting this car ready to go. It’s been a massive effort and I’ve got a lot of respect for the shape we are in at the moment.
“But it’s only the first step – and this is where the work really begins.
The Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team begin their winter testing programme in Barcelona next week joining their rival at the Spanish circuit. Valtteri Bottas will drive the car on the opening morning of the first day of testing before handing over to Lewis Hamilton for the afternoon.
On Tuesday, Hamilton will start the morning session before Bottas takes over. On Wednesday morning, Bottas will drive the car before handing over to Hamilton in the afternoon, while on the final day of testing on Thursday, Hamilton will drive the car before Bottas completes the test in the afternoon.