Mercedes has unveiled its new car for the 2018 during a shakedown event at Silverstone Circuit. The F1 W09, with which Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas will try to win the fifth world title in a row for the silver arrows, has seen the light for the first time today.
Mercedes, the team and manufacturer which has dominated Formula 1 since the V6 Turbo hybrid engines were introduced into the series, already has the car with which they will try to extend this domain for another season in 2018.
It is the F1 W09, whose official unveiling is scheduled for 1:10 PM Central Europe Time today. However, the team has held a shakedown in Silverstone on which some picutres of the car have already been released.
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Despite the quality of the picture, there are several details in the new livery for the W09. The top part is painted on a straight grey, while the usual blue lines can be found on the lower part and are darker, even with some black details.
The shark fin has obviously disappeared and the halo has been implemented. As for the aerodynamic details, we will hace to wait until the team releases better pictures to analyse it properly.
Bottas has already hit the track with the W09 this morning in a short shakedown. Toto Wolff has made clear that it was not a test, just a control session to see if the car worked properly.
“First of all, this is a very special moment. All the work and dedication have come alive. The track is damp, you can’t expect spectacular weather. The most important is to shake it down and see if it completely functional, and it has delivered. “, said Wolff.
2017 was a winner year for Mercedes, but Wolff recalls that they had tough competition with Ferrari. For this year, the goal is the same: winning the World Championship and improve their 2017 numbers.
“F1 is the pinacle of motorracing, and the competition is very strong. We won another championship last year, and we have strong competition. We needed to find the right balance betweet developing the car without losing its raw speed”, continued Wolff.
Lewis Hamilton is the big star into 2018. After clinching his fourth title, the British driver is focused on his work, which is racing. Inspired by his family and friends, Hamilton is keen on improving and getting even better.
“I just love racing, it’s very simple. I think my friends inspire me, and I have very inspiring people here, like Billy Monger. He was another inspirational individual. I always want to improve, to get better and to work with this team”, mentioned the four-times champion.
The team is a great part of all the car, specially during post-season. These are the busiest months because everyone in the teams are looking for finishing the car as soon as possible and getting it on track. Hamilton praised the effort of all the team, and made it seem unique.
“F1 never sleeps. The guys are always working to develop the car. It is the first time I see the car completely. Obviously I’ve seen the work individually on their computers, but seeing it come together is such a work of art, and we are only two who will drive it”, said Hamilton.
“I’ve been eagerly excited, double checking the seat. Today it is not a test, it is just to check that everything works. Obviously it is the launch. It is great to be part of it”, continued Hamilton.
Like 2017, 2018 is another year in the fight for the World Championship. Hamilton wants to improve his numbers of last season, and he sees the W09 as an evolution of last year’s winning machine.
“Last year, the car was fantastic. We could improve several things to make it better. This is the sister car, an evoulution of the car. Inside, underneath the shell, it is all refined to do better than last year. I am really proud of all the hard-work put into it”, claimed Hamilton.
As per Bottas, the Finn has explained the same as Hamilton in a nutshell. Bottas praised the work done by the team and the special meaning that it has been for him to drive the car for the first time in the morning.
“It is very special to be driving the car for the first time. You know how much work has been put into it… it felt good. Everything ws working well, the engine was working well. I cannot say more”, admitted Bottas.
The Halo is also in the menu, and Bottas lowered the expectations about the safety measure. Of course it is something odd for several drivers, but Bottas does not seem worried about it.
“Of course I am still getting used to it. Watching it from here it is a bit odd, but it is the same thing with all the new regulations. Drivers will get used to it”, explained the Finn.
2018 will be his second year driving for Mercedes, and Bottas wants to improve, just like Hamilton. More pressure will be added to the Finn’s shoulders, as he has now to step up his driving.
“I learnt so much for 2017. My target for 2018 is to use all those things I learnt, trying to be consistent and improving my personal best level. We all have been working the weaknesses of the car”, concluded Bottas.
Photo | Mercedes AMG Petronas