Mercedes has unveiled its W08 2017 Formula 1 car at a windswept launch event at Silverstone.
The new car, which was driven in a shakedown by Lewis Hamilton before the launch, features a long and narrow flowing nose, and heavily detailed aerodynamic parts behind the front wheels.
The new Silver Arrow also features a slightly updated livery, which was teased by the team with several preview images before the launch. Mercedes has added flowing green and blue lines to the lower sections of the front of the car to reflect the manufacturer’s new EQ ‘electric intelligence’ branding.
Speaking during the live streamed unveiling of the W08, which was filmed using a 360° camera from inside a Silverstone pit garage, Hamilton described the new Mercedes as “the most detailed piece of machinery” he has seen during his F1 career.
He said: “Yesterday was the time I’d seen the car coming together, seeing the guys working in the factory putting this thing together. It’s the most detailed piece of machinery I’ve seen so far in Formula 1.
“So I was super excited to see what it felt like and today I got to drive it for the first time. It felt pretty awesome – but it’s very gusty here [due to Storm Doris currently hitting the UK].”
Valtteri Bottas, who will drive the W08 around the British Grand Prix venue for filming purposes this afternoon, offered his first impressions of the new car and described his pride at driving a Silver Arrow for the first time since he was signed to replace the recently retired 2016 world champion Nico Rosberg.
He said: “It’s a big day for me and obviously a very big day for the team. It’s a new era in Formula 1 and everyone who has been working on this car gets to see it running for the first time. For me it’s the first day driving a Silver Arrow so it’s amazing.
“It feels real [now], and I’m just amazed at how good the car is looking. What I really like about this is how clean it looks but at the same time there is a massive amount of detail in all of the areas.
“The rear end, around the bargeboards, the front wing – all these details and all the development that has been done and how far everything has been taken with this car – it looks cool and I can’t wait to drive it.
Toto Wolff, Mercedes’ motorsport boss, explained the thinking behind the EQ livery update and how it reflects the technology label that will be given to all future Mercedes hybrid road cars.
He said: “It’s a new brand for Mercedes-Benz, which is going to be implemented in all plug-in hybrid cars on the road. It stands for electric intelligence, so we’re having it on the car for the first time.
“[There is] synergy is in terms of intelligence in the road cars and intelligence in the race cars, but there is a lot of technology transfer in both directions. Not only from the race car into the road car but the other around – we get helped an awful lot by Stuttgart [and] we’ve had situations where they gave us the solutions. It goes both ways so it is a great collaboration.”
The W08 has a lot to live up to as Mercedes has won 51 races in 59 events since the start of the 2014 season. The Brackley-based team is attempting win its fourth successive double of drivers’ and constructors’ championships after F1’s chassis rules have been heavily revised to make the new cars faster and look more aggressive for 2017.
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