Mercedes W09 revealed during Silverstone shakedown
Mercedes has released the first image of its W09, the car with which it hopes to win both World Championships for a fifth successive season.
The W09 hit the track at Silverstone, home of the British Grand Prix, on Thursday morning, ahead of its official launch later in the day.
Having returned to Formula 1 as a works team in 2010, Mercedes utilised overhauled regulations for 2014 to emerge as the sport’s dominant force, sweeping to three straight double titles.
Revised technical regulations in 2017 resulted in Mercedes being seriously threatened for the first time in the hybrid era, before it pulled clear of Ferrari, aided by the latter’s errors and technical glitches.
Mercedes clinched the Constructors’ title with three races left, while Lewis Hamilton wrapped up the Drivers’ crown with two events to spare, his fourth title overall, and third with the team.
Hamilton will remain with the team for a sixth season, having scored 41 wins since his arrival in 2013, as he enters the final year of his current contract.
Hamilton will again be joined by Valtteri Bottas, who linked up with Mercedes as a late replacement for the retired Nico Rosberg, having spent four years at Williams.
Bottas claimed three wins, remaining in contention for the title until the Asian ‘flyaway’ races, and has been retained for 2018, with Mercedes keeping its options open for 2019.
Hamilton and Bottas will formally take the covers off the W09 at lunchtime, with Mercedes also opting to shake down the car.
Each team is permitted two ‘filming days’, in which 100km of running is allowed on Pirelli’s promotional tyres, and Mercedes has opted to combine its launch and shakedown.
The W09 will then be transported to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, where the first of eight days of pre-season testing will begin on Monday morning.