Mercedes launch a new F1 “diva” as Hamilton seeks to equal Fangio
Posted By: James Allen  |  22 Feb 2018   |  11:04 am GMT  |  195 comments

“We hope we that we have kept the best of the diva and got rid of the other qualities.”

Toto Wolff launched his team’s new Mercedes F1 car at Silverstone today, describing his team as being ‘flat out’ to try to win a fifth consecutive world championship.

Describing his lead driver Lewis Hamilton as ‘the personalisation of hunger’ he said that the 33 year old has huge motivation to win his fifth world title and thereby equal Mercedes 1950s hero Juan Manuel Fangio, despite all the success of the last few years.

“Being up there with Fangio, that is quite an exciting prospect,” said Hamilton, who said that he expects a tighter fight with Ferrari and especially Sebastian Vettel.

“Last year was my best season, performance wise,” he said. “How do I top that?”

As for the future, Hamilton is expected to agree a new contract with the team “in the next few weeks” according to Wolff. There were suggestions last year that it could be worth around $50m a year, but that was before Max Verstappen put his name to a long contract with Red Bull Racing.

“This is my sixth season with the team and it’s crazy that it’s been that long,” said Hamilton. “It’s great to see the development of the car. It’s a work of art. I’m in awe of the team.”

On his new contract he said that he has been in regular consultation with Wolff and that there is nowhere else he wants to drive. “We are committed to each other it’s just the details. Hopefully we will have it all done by the start of the season,” he said.

“In the six years I’ve been here I have not spoken to any other team,” he added. “We made it clear that if I was to look at my other options, I would inform them.”

Hamilton said that he had been instrumental in concluding the sponsorship deal with clothing brand Tommy Hilfiger; it sounds like he will be doing personal projects with them.

Describing the car as a “new diva” he said that the goal was for the new Mercedes to build on the strengths of the 2017 car while losing some of its ‘diva’ qualities which saw it underperform on some tracks. The car doesn’t at first glance appear to have any radical design departures form the 2017 model.

There were very strong tracks for the car last year and others where the car struggled, like Bahrain and Hungary.

Hamilton said that he and Valtteri Bottas had input on the development of the 2018 car, but that it had not gone away from Hamilton’s style. He regretted that F1 cars are now around 800kgs, with the driver on board.

He said that he preferred the lighter, more nimble cars of the past.

Mercedes have been the team to beat since the dawn of the 2014 hybrid turbo era, but last year Ferrari came close, leading the world championship until the autumn.

We have seen several teams picking up design cues from the Ferrari, especially around the front of the side pods and the leading edge of the floor. The Ferrari was more easily able to follow other cars than the Mercedes while keeping everything cool and we can see that the world champion team have done a lot of work in the area around the entry to the side pods. The car also seems to have the front suspension mounted quite high, as with the Red Bull.

Wolff refused to explore who the main title rivals will be. He said he had expected Red Bull to be the main rivals last season, but instead it was Ferrari.

He added that he expected the main engine rivals to be close on performance to the Mercedes, adding that he understood that the new Honda F1 engine, “will close the gap; I hear they had a good shakedown.”

The Austrian was outspoken when it came to the most noticeable item on the new car; Wolff said he is not impressed with the halo, “If you give me a chainsaw I would take it off. We must look after the drivers’ safety but it’s not aesthetically pleasing. This is an F1 car.”

Hamilton was more conciliatory and said that the halo was ‘the new world’ and that everyone would get used to it.

Wolff said that he has high expectations of Valtteri Bottas this season and identified mastery of the tyres as the main thing he needed to work on to get the most from the car. The Finn, who won the final Grand Prix of 2017 in Abu Dhabi, was given the honour of driving the first laps with the new car early on Thursday morning for filming purposes and shakedown, before the start of the press launch event.

Mercedes also planned to take the unusual step of showing a live stream of the Ferrari online launch at 2pm UK time in the Silverstone media centre, interrupting their programme of interviews with senior team personnel to do so.

What do you think of the new Mercedes F1 car? How do you think they will do this season, still the team to beat? Leave your comments below

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“Mercedes and Ferrari are working as one team these days. Sometimes it is difficult to tell which is which,” says Horner

Is this a true quotation from #RedBull, that Mercedes and Ferrari ‘working as one team’?


Does anyone know (James?) what happen to the #keepfightingmichael on Mercedes ca? They had it on their cars since accident happen, up until last season.

Does this mean they’ve given up on him? Or, just simple negligence of someone who does the stickers, and no one noticed?


He’s been saying that since end of last year. It’s tactical.


@ James…according to reports of their agreements in meetings it seems as though it certainly has some credibility. Combined, Ferrari and Mercedes, are are a force to be reckoned with.


No doubt and I have written that over the past 12 months.


James we seem to have lost the formatting on replies ( indent) makes tracking comments a bit awkward.


Know this observation has been made many times over the years, and in particular by Murray Walker: Comparing 5 WDC titles in today’s machines to that same number from antiquity has the singular commonality of comparing numbers. However, the impression remains that the influence of any driver of today’s machines in achieving those numbers simply isn’t quite there.

Just sharing an impression from one observer (who has only been paying attention since 1961) with no intent to cast aspersions.


only the anti fans post such nonsense. f1 is a competition in which all competitors take part under the same regulations. in every era of f1, all teams and drivers take part under the same rules. the rules have evolved over time to make it more and more difficult for any one team or driver to enjoy a sizeable advantage. so great champions of today are greater than those who found it easier to find an advantage over their competitors. drivers’ talent is required is a lot more valuable than it ever was. martin brundle, mark blundel, jean alesi etc. they all enjoyed a lengthy f1 career with significantly less talent than the great champions of their era. join f1 now with such talent and you wouldn’t last a season…j palmer, v petrov, k chandok.

you only use phrases like it’s impossible to compare because you can’t stand it. well for your information, he will make it ridiculously obvious that he is the best of all time that you all can’t refuse to accept it.

driving f1 cars involve qualifying and there isn’t a single driver who has qualified better. overtaking, not one has demonstrated the art of overtaking as intricately as he has consistently done. no one has repeatedly successfully defended against faster cars than he has let alone driven on a wet track as masterfully as he has done. if you think any of the so called greats of the past has consistently displayed any of those areas of driving skills please let me know so that i’ll also marvel at them. show me video links to also enjoy their artistic displays…

you will not see another as good in your lifetime..


Michael Schumacher. Qualifying, Overtaking, Defending and the original rainmaster.

My point is you can’t compare because the circumstances were different. Try asking Hamilton to drive the longer Spa track which had no tire barriers and no medical crew in case of an accident. Throw in rain for good measure and i’d like to see how well he fares. Skill alone wasn’t the requirement back then, it took huge cajones to even step into a car and race. One driver in the 70s told his team to get rid of his rear wing in Monza for that extra bit on the straight, imagine braking at the end of it with no rear end!

No doubt Hamilton is one of the most skilled/talented driver to ever race in F1, but he won’t be the greatest ever because you just can’t compare.


Well said Aveli.

I am truly tired of the motorsports magazine rose coloured glasses crowd.

I WATCHED races in that very time and while I will concede that the likes of Jim C come along very rarely, to suggest what we are watching at the moment is anything less is just utterly ridiculous.


Well said, Aveli.



And what happened when you woke up?


Guess I would counter with “whose impression?” There are far more people racing karts & cars now, such that the same 20-30 racers in the top tier are far more skilled than their counterparts from the 50’s. Certainly no one the age or physique of Fangio could compete in today’s cars.

It’s like England thinking they were the greatest footballing nation for the last decades of the 19th century, and the first few of the 20th. Turns out they were just a medium fish in a small pond. The other nations just didn’t have the requisite infrastructure yet. When more nations started competing, they quickly caught and then surpassed England. England was still the medium fish, just in a bigger pond now.


If he were around today the Fangio we see in pictures wouldn’t exist. Because his rise would have been different.


@ James…You might care to comment on the latest FIA directive re manufacturers being made to supply engines and software that allows all teams using that engine to have the same modes as the prime supplier. In otherwords 100% equality. I would think that the directive is primarily aimed at Mercedes who appear to have special quali modes that aren’t able to be accessed by all Mercedes engined runners to the same degree. If so then this would be welcomed by all fans…that is apart from the Mercedes factory team fans.


As a possibility, yes

Then why would this be welcomed by all fans apart from those who are fans of the factory team? It doesn’t make sense. Assuming you are right, and Mercedes have been holding back on the modes available to their customers, the teams that would suffer most would be those who are not powered by Mercedes. It wouldn’t slow down the factory team as they already get all the good stuff.

As I said, be careful what you wish for kenneth 🙂


You believe that your good luck will last forever

My good luck ??? You’re making less sense with every post. Still, as you say, maybe Williams or FI will overtake Red Bull – I certainly look forward to seeing you rejoice at that should it come about 🙂


@ C63…Wriggle and squirm…hahhaah you wish. Do you seriously think that each and every fan apart from the Mercedes/Hamilton desperates don’t wish to see Mercedes/Hamilton come a cropper irrespective of who their favorite driver /team are. You see, that’s the problem that you have. You believe that your good luck will last forever…well it won’t. Maybe some customer team may displace a Rd Bull or a Ferrari if they all had equal quali modes…To finally answer your question re what you’re missing….the context and the obvious extension of that.



Wriggle and squirm all you want, but what you have said makes no sense. If the Mercedes customer teams are to challenge the factory team they would need to ‘overtake’ the Red Bull and Ferrari (possibly the Renault team as well) teams in order to do so.

How or why would that be welcomed by all fans apart from those of the factory team? I would have thought fans of Ferrari and Red Bull (or their drivers) would be dismayed to find themselves falling back in the pecking order behind the likes of Williams and Force India. Which bit am I missing kenneth?


@ C63…You still need to up your levels of interpretation. Of course chassis and aero make a huge difference but if you read what i have said you would understand the problem a lot better. I said that it would at least,’theoretically’ , give the lesser teams a chance to challenge more realistically by taking the ‘superior’ quali modes out of the equation. You are hard work sometimes. Enjoy the snow.


Of course it makes sense.

No it doesn’t – the difference between the performance levels of the factory team and their customers is not simply down to different engine modes. If it was a simple as that then why aren’t all customer teams equal? Why, for instance, are Red Bull so far in front of the Renault factory team – might it be something to do with the chassis and aero ? Just a thought.


@ C63…What are you on about? Of course it makes sense. Obviously it would affect those non Mercedes teams in comparison to the others but you seem to forget that it would , at least theoretically, give better challenges to the factory team. As to the old cliche, ‘be careful etc etc etc’ i personally don’t care. The fastest teams in quali would be more equal and the races would be better if there was a close up to the Mercedes juggernaut. Except for those whose fave driver may be under somewhat heightened pressure.


Kenneth, you assume (as usual) that Mercedes are the guilty party, but they are the only manufacturer to publicly state that their customers get “identical engines and identical modes” as the works team. Never heard anyone say that from Ferrari or Renault, or seen any evidence that it isn’t true either.


Why would you assume it is directed at Mercedes? My first thought was that it was Red Bull (or McLaren) wanting to make sure that they were getting the full enchilada from Renault.

I think it would help Mercedes greatly if they could help Williams and/or Force India get between them and Ferrari or Red Bull.

Or it might’ve been directed at Ferrari, seeing as no Ferrari-powered customer has ever placed higher than the factory team.


If so then this would be welcomed by all fans…

I’m not saying you’re right, but assuming you are then won’t that put more Mercedes powered cars further up the grid – to the disadvantage of non Mercedes powered cars?

Be careful what you wish for kenneth 🙂


Another possibility is that if they gave customer engines the best modes, they would probably blow up more often which would look bad for Mercedes.


@ C63….As a possibility, yes.


Is anyone else receiving email notifications of a reply to their comment? It appears to have stopped.


No, it seems to have settled about 3 days ago.


Along with the helpful indentations of comments relevant to particular postings and then there’s the apparent “slowness” for articles on current events these days. Perhaps being linked with the “bigger outlets” isn’t the answer some thought it might turn out to be, eh?


I don’t think the Halo could look any worse. I wonder if there is any technology that could allow it to be made in a clear/see through material?

Also, fish fin is a good nickname, haha. Though they don’t bother me like last year’s fin.


Can we now get rid of the fish fins? Not as ugly as the shark fins, but cars would look so much nicer with a tightly curved engine cover. Oh, and get shot of the barge boards, and all the front antennas – put them on the rear wing . And while they’re at it make the onboard cameras integrated into the cars body instead of ugly pods.


The thongs have thrown the aesthetics of the cars so far out of whack that anything they can do now would be like putting lipstick on a pig — it’s hardly even worth the effort.


I stand here today, vindicated in my assertion – mercedes would NOT pursuit the short wheel base high rake aero philosophy. At the time, various members of this very forum ridiculed me. Saying the wheel base was the cause of the w08’s diva complex, not realizing it was the preseason suspension ban. The very suspension ban that affected RBR.

Ironically, it is ferrari who’s lengthen their wheelbase and there is noise RBR is doing the same.

I eagerly await an apology. Just sayin’


@ Oblah…you’ve got a lot of front!!! Total tosh.


Ferrari have lengthened their wheelbase slightly. But it is still much shorter than Mercedes so it’s pretty much as it was last season.

Anyway I’m sure the medal is in the post.


@ Nick H….According to Mark Hughes Ferrari have increased their wheelbase by 5cms. Mercedes are on record as saying that they have maintained the same wheelbase as their ’17 car which was 20.5cms longer that the Ferrari. What that says is that Oblah and his ‘vindication’ is a lot of self congratulationary nonsense. He claimed earlier that not only myself but a few others owed him an apology, and he claimed that they, Ferrari, had copied Mercedes!!! As expected he couldn’t provide the evidence to support his imagination and to top all of that he is again calling for apologies. This guy is dreaming and he should be the one apologising for his rampant and clearly wrong accusations. This guy’s got more front than Jezebel.


Italian sources are also saying 5cm on the Ferrari


We’ll all chip in and give you a pat on the back, a gold star and your own personal mirror…


I am surprised that it took Mercedes so long to produce the new car. It looks like they started with last year’s model and just took a saw to the shark fin. Oh, and stuck a wishbone from a giant chicken on top.


Hi James,

Any news that Mercedes has follow the high rake design philosophy of Red Bull and McLaren? If changing the design philosophy so much might they be at a disadvantage in the early flyaways till Barcelona at least?


They increased the rake slightly, how much is impossible to tell atm.


Hmm, I am surprised they stick with the longer wheel base and not much change in the front wing. Ferrari and redbull could follow last year for a reason. Is Merc gonna be caught out again this year the moment they are behind a decent redbull or ferrari? Time will tell.


how can they not know how to build a winning call all of a sudden? they won most poles and races. the others don’t know how to..


Or a papaya orange McLaren. I expect fireworks from Alonso this year. No way he lets anyone past easily in a competitive car. I also expect Vandoorne to show his potential after a year of learning his craft.


The idea mercedes struggles in dirty air more than its competitors is unfounded. It’s an illusion made up by the media. All aero cars struggle in dirty air. The reason people think the merc struggles more is because its rarely behind and when it is, people expect it to power past.


@ Oblah…Verstappen in his Red Bull had no problem passing Hamilton, despite him [ hamilton ] not putting up any spirited defence yet earlier on in the season Hamilton spent an age behind Bottas because he couldn’t put a pass on and had to request Wolff to get Bottas let him through!!!!


ugly cars ,confused organization and marshalling,minutes between cars at the flag.

Commentary mostly guess work.

More people should check out a race from 1973.

I look forward to the 2018 season


Mem, great comment! The rose tinted specs brigade really should go back and actually watch some of the races from ‘the good old days’….

Tornillo Amarillo

Oh, the Ferrari is up and it is beautiful!!!


That merc looks like the main deal.

The Ferrari though they have gone the long wheel base way in my view will not be a match.

For me Ham the 5th Tittle


I fully expect Hamilton to cruise to cruise to title number 5 this year. From a spectacle point of view it’s a good job it looks like the midfield will be tight. Mercedes have no need to go radical with their car as they have a such strong baseline, add in the best driver in the business and title number 5 is on the way for LH…


From a spectacle point of view it’s a good job it looks like the midfield will be tight.

I think this will be where it’s at Triangle….those last few positions sought after from Q2 to Q3, let alone in the race! Might vary from track to track too!


I am not so sure. I think their will be a lot of competition at the front with Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren and Renault closing the gap throught the year. I think this will make passing for the Merc a problem if they come out in traffic or aren’t first away.


they could’ve painted their halo light silver at least.

williams have it right.


As do I. As do I 🙃


Hamilton seeks to equal Fangio

He indeed can and probably will do that, mightily relieved as he is Verstappen did not try to join Mercedes.


relieved as he is Verstappen did not try to join Mercedes.

Lol – there’s an awful lot of credit handed out on this forum based on what ‘would’ or ‘could’ happen……



Yes, speculation on would/could happens constitutes at least 20% of the annual discussion on forums like this one. So what’s your point?


@lamil….hamilton is not bothered about being a teammate to anyone and there isn’t anyone on this planet who could sell more mercedes cars than hamilton. schumacher and rosberg couldn’t manage it so on earth would verstappen be more appealing? how many followers does verstappen have? do you know more about f1 and marketing than ecclestone?


@jon…….hamilton exposed rosberg for the cheat he was. i’m sure hamilton has a lot more to expose about rosberg. if you didn’t watch the video, it’s still on youtube.


why relieved?

no driver in the history of the sport has demonstrated the level of authority over a car that hamilton has demonstrated. i love vertappen’s style of braking and steering on corner approach but he’s yet to reach hamilton’s level. hamilton drove better than all f1 driver long before he exploded into f1 and when he did, he destroyed alonso the then reigning youngest ever back to back double champion. he drove in the wet much much better than alonso could manage. he qualified better than alonso. defended and overtook much better than alonso. there isn’t an area of driving alonso outshone hamilton. all the most exciting drives since 2007 involve hamilton against alonso, raikkonen, vettel. hamilton consistently outshone them all. verstappen looks set to shine once hamilton retires. until then we’ll see how far hamilton takes those records.


“there isn’t anyone on this planet who could sell more mercedes cars than hamilton”
I wasn’t arguing replacing Ham with Max. In fact, Hamilton and Verstappen would make for a nice and complementary selling team at Mercedes. Better than Hamilton-Bottas at any rate.


Well said !!!


Jon, the reason Hamilton fans didn’t believe Nico was a better all round driver than Lewis is because he wasn’t. If he was, then he would have beaten him in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Nico wasn’t thought of as a no hoper by the people within the sport, but I have never seen any of them rate him higher than Lewis.


#Tim. I rated him very highly however if you care to go back through a lot of postings from Hamilton fans they consistently belittled him, never acknowledging that he was getting the better of Hamilton through being the better all round driver.



Since the bulk of Merc’s sales occur outside of Germany and Europe, I find your comment very curious. LH has broad appeal world-wide and for all of MV’s prodigious driving prowess, he falls under that unfortunate moniker of phenomenal on track but ugly looking driver.


Jon, absolutely nobody in F1 thought Nico was a ‘no hoper’, I get that you wish he was, but he wasn’t.


#aveli. Absolute authority ..except of course when a “ no hoper” called Nico beat him in the same machine.


Fast he is,………. slow he is.

Run Forrest, run!!!!!!!



Relieved because that would have been the one challenge able of unsettling Lewis. Bottas, even when scooping away more points than Kimi will be taking from Seb, is of no concern. Vettel could be dealt with also, especially if the new Merc is greatly improved.

I’m not saying Max in the 2nd MB would beat Lewis (yet) but already it would be close. In addition Mercedes could profile Max to promote – in German – their road cars to a very large audience, a tremendous asset. I’m not under the impression star Hamilton is of much value in this department.

If the Verstappens had played their cards right, the deal would have stuck. I am convinced of that. And think all you want, but that would have made Hamilton a lot more uncomfortable than any Ferrari challenge with a jittery Vettel.


You really think, lewis is frightened by Max? Sometimes i wonder what the haters will come up with next. Max can barely beat Danny Ric. He’s not ready for lewis.


I think Lemwil has it right. Lewis isn’t afraid of anyone, but Max would be more of a handful than Valtteri, one suspects. I can certainly buy that.

From the other side, I’m not sure if Max is looking to oust one of the big boys from their big team perches, by going head to head with them. I think he’s confident that RBR will do the business one of these seasons, and is willing to wait a bit for that.



Lewis frightened? No.

Apprehensive? Yes.

And Ham is only apprehensive about Max, no one else.

Max in a competitive car that is.



Nibbling on the confidence icing of the HAM glory pie does not make me a hater!


Verstappen is not in Hamilton’s league mate, have you not seen how Hamilton owned Verstappen in the USGP ? lol.



If Hamilton’s car owned VES at Monza – please explain coherently how the other “Hamilton car” was so far behind VES?

It’s not like the guy driving it is useless – it’s just your boy has a way to go yet. Nothing wrong in that but all this applauding for three wins in three seasons? Yes the guy is good but why not look what LH had achieved in the same period and all that with suffering a far worse (09) car than VES has driven to date. Well to be fair it was a touch more reliable if at the back repeatedly.


Bottas can be fast at times but HAM and Max are in another league altogether.
(Didn’t see your reply until now, notifications are still not working.)


@Retribution, avoid feeding the haters. They find validation in our responses.

For all of max’s wet weather prowess, he could do nothing for lewis in Brazil 2016 and was made to look like amateur in wet monza qualifying. Something like 1.2s…🙃

The kid has talent and probably the heir to lewis’s throne, but it’s much too soon.


My @retribution:

“Hamilton owned Verstappen”, read

“Hamilton’s car owned Verstappen’s car”


I’ll be honest, this has been the most disappointing and underwhelming car release season I can remember for a long time.

Cars look nearly identical except with a half-raised toilet seat over the cockpit now. I’ve tried to give them some time, but no matter what angle I look at it from, the HALO is as ugly as my dog’s breakfast from yesterday.

“It’s new world, people will get used to it,” we’ll see about that one, buddy.


I’m no fan of the halo, but it’s a fact that it improves safety in an open cockpit race car. The FIA, as the governing body, have no choice but to introduce this safety feature as they are aware of it’s existence. It wouldn’t matter how many disclaimers they got the drivers to sign, they would still be considered negligent if something went wrong and they took no action – yet had knowledge of something [the halo] that would have made things safer. There is a good FIA presentation on the halo on youtube – they have been very thorough in their research and a great deal of the criticism by many commenters is wide of the mark. Have a watch of it and see what you think.


I have the opposite feeling. I haven’t been this excited for a new season for a few years. I love the new car liveries especially the Renault and Alfa and Ferrari. The calibre of drivers in good cars is phenomenal: Max and Dan, Alonso and possibly Vandoorne, Vettel and Kimi, Hulk and Sainz, Lewis and Bottas, and LeClerc making his debut should be fascinating. I am predicting an epic season!


F1 has been dissapointing and underwhelming for quite some time now. In fact, I’ve trying really hard to invoke even a tiny shred of enthusiasm for this coming season and I just can’t.

I really can’t fathom why F1 continues to persist with this Sado-masochistic direction when they had the winning formula in the 90s and most of 2000s. All they have to do is take a cursory look at what F1 was like then and do something very similar today. How hard can that be? I mean the blueprint is there waiting to be reanimated and brought to life once again.


unfortunately for your eyes, these cars will race at all the scheduled tracks and record numbers of fans will pay to go and see them live and on tv, knowing full well what the cars look like.


Record numbers? TV? Oh, you must mean low numbers…


Calm yourself. You will. As fan in the past got use to v10’s, v8’s, the blown exhaust sound, hans and least we forget, the noble seat belt.


What you say is sensible in my opinion.

I wish those pretending to speak for others will stop saying “People will get used to it”.

Personally i don’t think it’s right getting used to something I don’t like.


LukeC, with track attendances continuing their upward trajectory, it’s difficult to say that F1 is failing in that area.


That’s what customers are supposed to do. Don’t like, don’t buy it. Simple.


Right, it’s not your responsibilty to have to get used to anything. Your responsibilty is to hand over your hard earned cash to see something spectacular, something that you want to see. It’s the responsibilty of those in charge of F1 to create a product that will compel you to part with your hard-earned cash.


Wow! While looks aren’t everything this just looks a class act – could they win 10 of the 15 races this year? Hope not!


I think Merc will be beat Ferrari as I think one of thier problems is actually their driver line up, or the way they handle their drivers compared to Merc and Redbull. Lewis just a smidgen better than Vettel in most areas, which mean Ferrari needs a car better than Merc to win, cause when they’re close in performance, Lewis has him covered.I always get the impression Lewis would happily have Vettel in the same car, but not the other way round.

In the Ross Braw and Adam Parr book Total Competition. They have no agenda with drivers, interestingly they said Hamilton and Alonso are the best, if all the cars were equal, they’d win everything, and Vettel just isn’t at their level, also at that point they picked out Max, but it was too early then to tell.

Lewis is loved by Merc and openly praised, the Ferrari boss didn’t hide that he felt Seb could of done better, and with Ferrari engineers leaking to the press they would like to of seen what Alonso could of done with last years car. Out of the leading drivers I feel Vettel is under the most pressure, and we’ve seen how it pans out when the pair are both under pressure.


“and with Ferrari engineers leaking to the press they would like to of seen what Alonso could of done with last years car”

Really? Any links for this?


did vettel not beat alonso in close combat to a couple of championships?


Only when they clipped the wings of Webber and didnt do much after multi 2-1 & the various idiotic prangs both drivers ended u9 having. Not to mention the flexi front wing plus the new wing they swapped from Webbers car to put on Vettels…which prompted Webber to radio “Not bad for a number 2 driver”…Dr.Markos face looked like he’d been slapped with a wet fish, after that radio message !!


Nope, Newey did.


So the same Alonso who lost to a rookie is equally as good as him now?

Not a chance, and I don’t even like Hamilton.


@ Random 79…I’m still curious as to why you’ve appropriated someone elses monicker. Why?


they are all under the influence. they cannot name a single area of driving alonso can match hamilton. qualifying, rain, defending, overtaking, team chice. not one. they just jump to equal.


Well said mate.


It looks like a well optimized W08. A lot of attention was paid to the suspension all around.


@dren finally someone who follows f1, not just clickbait articles. Cheers.


I cant believe how tightly packed the rear is, the car looks alot like the last but with a bit more rake maybe???

But im thinking under the skin is where the damage will be done.


Merc’s sidepods are wider at the front than any other car, this makes the coke bottle shape to the rear a more severe curve giving you the illusion of a much more tightly packed rear end when it’s really about the same as Ferrari/RB/McLaren.


Yeah. Looks very sleek!

Although it is eye watering to read that these cars are going to weigh nearly 800kg! That’s like 200kg more than a 2004 F1 car! I think a diet is due at this rate!


we will watch f1 no matter how much they weigh.

we watch f1 to see fast cars race each other.


I noticed that too… there’s an above shot about and it’s amazing how much of the floor you can see (well, the top of the floor if you get what I mean)


it was the same in 2017.

Tornillo Amarillo

About Hamilton:

On his new contract… “it’s just the details… ”

Which details, about money? I don’t think so.

It could be how the team will behave when team orders could be necessary to keep the WDC alive, how team Mercedes could help Hamilton (ordering a second role to Bottas) when Vettel is challenging for the WDC, not an easy task.

You just can lose a Championship early in the season, just for 1 point, and you realize that painfully only at the end of the season…


Are you insinuating Lewis is looking for number one driver status? Unlikely. If anything it’s money or the freedom to promote his own brand and external revenue streams.

Funny how all the criticism he’s gotten for walking the red carpet, was infact business. Specifically the acquisition of Tommy as the teams kit supplier. Maybe this Lewis Hamilton knows what he’s doing. Maybe…


@Tornillo Amarillo Hamilton is no Alonso who needs No1 status and teammates to move or crash in the wall so he can win, IMO Alonso ain’t in Hamilton’s league.


Who benefitted most from team orders at Mercedes??

I cant recall anytime Rosberg or Bottas did, but i can recall plenty of times Hamilton did.

How is that not number 1 status?

Tornillo Amarillo

I mean Alonso AND Hamilton lost the WDC in 2007 to Kimi for 1 point…


And McLaren paid 100M$ because of that!


Careful, you’ll upset alonso’s pitchfork wielding mob.


That photo above with the halo black is not that bad. Have to admit.

However I was disappointed Lewis made that comment supporting the Daytona 500 NASCAR Bubba driver, just because he was black. Seems unnecessary. I would think Lewis would be above focusing on skin color.


that guy finished second….hamilton knew what he was talking about. performance based, not race.


did hamilton say he supported bubba because of his skin colour?


Wait, wait what? Fernando Alonso was invited to an NBA game by paul Gasol. What do those two have in common? Couldn’t be the fact they’re both spanish, could it?

Maybe, Lewis sees some comradery in another bi-racial athlete finding success in a predominantly white sport. Why would something like that bother you anyway… Are you threatened by minorities supporting each other.


By your own standards, you’re not above it, eh Gene? The difference is, o course, Hamilton’s focus was a positive one.


Toto Wolff launched his team’s new
Mercedes F1 car

Fun fact:

The first ever buyer of a Mercedes road car was the Austrian racer Emil Jellinek in 1900

Tornillo Amarillo

How do you think they will do this season…

IMO the favourites are Mercedes as a team and Vettel as a driver…

Simple, Bottas will take points from Hamilton and Hamilton will have to accept it because it is what the team will ask in order to get the WCC and keep both its drivers motivated, it is its phylosophy (not to acknowledge a 2nd driver role).

But Vettel could always have the help of his teamate, because Ferrari’s focus is the WDC and because they have a different phylosophy.

That’s why it would be an unusual year for Hamilton, like it was 2015 with Rosberg, but adding constantly huge pressure from Vettel.

I mean, on paper 2018 it will be truly both an intra-team plus an extra-team challenge for Hamilton, that’s unusual, he should be almost perfect if he want to succeed.

With Rosberg there were few years of only an intra-team fight (and Rosberg finally won in 2016) and in 2017 the challenge was only an extra-team one from Vettel-Ferrari (not from Bottas in his first year in Merc).

This season I hope Hamilton prevails, after all, to become top 3 in History.


teams don’t win drivers championships…with all the help ferrari provided vettel in 2017, he still couldn’t win. raikkonen gave up his position to vettel at every opportunity. even when his car broke down, somehow the fault was transferred to raikkonen’s car.


like 2017?

Tornillo Amarillo

What would you mean..?


Well the 2018 Mercedes looks similar to the 2017 car which could be a good thing which means the 2018 car retained the good attributes of the 2017 car

As for how I think the team will perform in 2018, I suspect not as good as recent seasons for 2017 showed that the competition has begun catching up.

Regards Lewis, it’s interesting to see that his fashion contacts have begun paying dividends which just goes to show that it pays to be a people person e.g. when Lewis walked up to Ron Dennis and asked for a drive.

Else where, with 2018 being Bottas’ second season with the team, the team expect he will be more comfortable with the car more so since he helped in the development process.

Overall, 2018 is shaping up to be super competitive so much so that Lewis himself says he would pay to watch to the action


“Overall, 2018 is shaping up to be super competitive so much so that Lewis himself says he would pay to watch to the action…”
I guess he is one of the super rich that can afford it.
Not all F1 fans can afford to follow behind the paywall.


enough f1 fans do go to watch races live. they don’t need you to join in.


@ Cyber

Hahaha touché


Another amazing car ruined with a Halo


….well, easy there Dan A.

It’s as long as an Escalade SUV, yes that one, and it’s going to line up on the grid at 200kg more than the V10s with the first stint fuel load. So…amazing may be a little generous.


they will not race v10s sebee..

v10s are extinct v6 are top predictors now and we’ll all marvel at their agility around twisty f1 tracks as they smash lap records with significantly lower fuel flow rate..


Can superlatives not be used sarcastically or does that then need to be specfied that it is? (no sarcasm included ;o)


It’s great to see Mercedes sticking with their car design philosophy rather than adapting to the high rake of so many other teams.

Will Hamilton be backed %100 as the no.1 driver? Surely they’ll have to,not because he’s Hamilton but because they’ll need to in order to win.

The halo….. what’s gonna happen if a piece of carbon fibre debris deflects off it and hits a driver?

It looks hideous and painting it won’t change that.


hamilton hasn’t changed his driving style yet.


They won’t smash any lap records weighing like hippos.

Qualifying times are not official lap records. Please try to keep up.


To answer your question in a crude manner, if a carbon fiber object is big enough to bounce off the halo and hit the car behind, then the object would be big enough to injure or kill the driver in the car in front if there was no halo.

My biggest concern with the halo is that it would not protect from more common smaller projectiles like the one that injured Massa. However, I understand that this was necessitated more by politics more safety. Imagine if a driver in 2018 is injured by a projectile that could have been stopped by a halo like device, but it was not deployed because the FIA thought it was ugly? That sounds very much like wilful neglect in a liability lawsuit. I doubt the FIA could claim that drivers understand the risk of F1, since under the law, the FIA is required to make reasonable/common sense efforts to protect the drivers and fans at the race track. The halo in that case could be seen by the court as a reasonable effort – arguing over its attractiveness would not be the best defense.


please be patient to marvel at how much more protection the halo will provide.

i like the look of it already.


Strictly in terms of aesthetics, this is the most underwhelming car that I have seen launched so far. I do hope that it is fast and reliable. Hamilton for Five!


Great looking Car.

Come On the Mercs 💪

All the Best for 2018.

Should be silver thong and not a dark one on the car.

It breaks the look aesthetics of the car.

No doubt the car you see in testing will be totally different from the car on the grid. As with all the cars except Williams who’ll probably first have to get the okay from Strolls Dad and Sirotkins Dad before they write the next cheque. He who writes tge biggest cheque will be the lead driver.


If you give me a chainsaw I would take it off. We must look after the drivers’ safety but it’s not aesthetically pleasing

Any surprise as to why they have not made an effort with the halo? Its probably done on purpose!! But as we all know, these launch cars are not the cars we see on the grid at the first race. I reserve judgement on the halo to see if it will hinder or help…..but the FIA know and have way more data than us mere mortals will ever think we have. Cant wait for the “two balls” 2, 3 and 4 wheeled variety, season to begin!


he said that the 33 year old has huge motivation to win his fifth world title

Fingers crossed for that 🙂


@ C63… Hamilton said that ‘he knows that Wolff knows that he’s the best’…Is that not raging narcissism? I’m not debating the veracity of the statement. it’s just that comments like those are best made by others, poor form, what!


Wasn’t Schumi at his peak at the age of 33? Michael in 2002 was pretty much in a class of one, and finished every race on the podium.

Lewis Hamilton’s biggest opponent is………………..Lewis Hamilton. When he’s off form like he was in Russia and Monaco he seems a bit lost, but he does have this knack of immediately bouncing back, like convincing wins in Spain and Canada.

Is LH the best driver on the grid? We could all argue all day about that………….but he is the fastest driver on the grid, over 70 poles (and counting) prove that once and for all. Other drivers could drive that Mercedes smoother, neater, more elegantly perhaps – but not consistently faster. And driving fast Is what racing is all about.


oblah. hamilton said in his most recent interview that rosberg cheated to be able to get close to him. rosberg didn’t win 2016,


i have never seen an f1 driver show as much a consistent form as hamilton has displayed with all the pressures around him. he doesn’t only have to beat the opposition, but his teammate too. schumacher’s beat all his teammates by signing contracts for them to work for him…he had nothing to worry about after that yet couldn’t demonstrate the level of consistency hamilton has. brundle made up that hamilton’s biggest oponent is himself. it means hamilton is in a class by himself. it doesn’t mean hamilton’s form is iratic. look carefully at his results and you will see a thick thread of consistency stitching them all up.


Gaz boy, lewis has been on it all year. It is well documented how difficult the w08 was to setup. Even their genius level engineers couldn’t figure it out.

Lewis is one of the most consistent driver on the grid. He rarely makes mistakes and is exceptional is adverse conditions. Remarkably resilient and always comes back stronger especially after a lost.

The 2016 “lost” to rosberg, though he’ll never admit it – pushed him beyond his limits. Never again will he allow anyone to beat him, reliability be damned. Deep down, he wanted to decimate him this year.


When he’s off form

I’m not sure it’s as simple as being a matter of form. It’s more to do with not accepting the limitations of the car in certain circumstances – Mark Hughes did a good article on it and explains it better than I can.

I’ll try and find the link.


@ Gaz Boy…you may think that but you cannot provide any evidence to support it.



Me to C63, if he’s in the zone all year, then hopefully it’s gonna be a fantastic year! Who knows, if he does it this year, he might just go after MS”s record… as a Englishman, I hope so😊


without special contract clause about teammates or crashing into others to win championships or even parking his car to stop others from qualifying ahead..


James/C63. Don’t forget though that if Lewis does win it this year, it won’t count. If the winning margin is large it won’t count because clearly he had the ‘most dominant car since the dawn of time’ and if the margin is narrow it won’t count because he ‘barely beat Vettel’. Remember also that no matter what he achieves throughout his career , Lewis can’t be thought of as a real champion because he lied to the stewards nine years ago. I think that’s everything, apart from the Bottas bashing of course…..


if he does it this year

Can you imagine – almost too juicy to contemplate 😎


Until the first race is run it is impossible to know the pecking order however given what IS known it can rather fairly be ascertained that Mercedes will once again be the team to beat. Their reliability was almost 100% and their speed differential was substantial. Now when Andy Cowell says that they are up at 1000hp, or at least within touching distance, and Renault say that they are up at 950HP +/- that tells us something. Cowell also said that he has a new engine for ’18 that has less frictional losses than last years engine. That also tells us something. IMO then the status quo will be maintained…Mercedes will make gains and so will the others but the relativity will remain in place. The challenges will have to come from the chassis and the drivers. Bottas and Raikonnen will be driving for their retention, Vettel will be driving for his status as will Hamilton. Red Bull will be doing everything they can to be disruptive with two hotshots each with their own agenda and not necessarily that of the team!!! Interesting.


let it be whatever you want. you seem to enjoy commenting on mercedes than the rest of them. you forgot to mention how creative hamilton is on his qualifying laps or defending and overtaking moves.


@ Aveli…last time i looked at the site it was called ‘JAonF1…not ‘JAon LH’ Your fixation blinds you to rational analysis. Mercedes have won four out of four and you don’t think that the emphasis should specifically be on them?


“Their reliability was almost 100% and their speed differential was substantial. “

Really? Ferrari were faster than Mercedes on many tracks last years, or “close” on others.. Mercedes also had quite a few reliability issues. Reports are Ferrari are also approaching 1000bP ..


Yeps Kenneth, building up to the start of the season, with all these new cars. Tensions starting to build, fans just hoping this year will be even better than last. Can’t wait for testing👏. Merc, Ferrari, Redbull, McClaren, Renault, hows it all gonna pan out😊

Me personally, I’m hoping of course for a Merc, Redbull, Ferrari duel at least. But I’m really hoping the best for McRenault. It would bring a big smile on my face if they were up there too.


@ James K….All i really want to see is some real racing, you know, true competition. Four years of domination by Mercedes are not really what i want to see extended to five or more. I too want to see Mclaren in the fight. Alonso is a great performer.


I watched the launch video, and two things struck me:

(1) The Mercedes team now numbers nearly 1500 people, and around 2,000,000 man-hrs went into delivering this car….! That dwarfs every other top-tier team out-there, let alone the mid-field guys. How do you compete with that?

(2) Hamilton is eloquent, relaxed and seemingly evermore the leader. I’m not a fan, but hard not to like and respect the guy.


why don’t you provide stats for the other teams for comparison before drawing that conclusion?

are the other teams too ashamed to share theirs?


Redline. Do those numbers really dwarf Ferrari and Red Bull? Or are you just guessing?


And the award for ugliest halo so far goes to…

It just looks awful against the silver. It’s not their fault, as that is the car color, but it is particularly offensive.


i like the halo. comparing 2018 cars with 217 cars makes me like the halo more. it makes the cars look more aggressive and better proportioned.


That would have to be the most ridiculous statement i have yet seen regarding the ‘halo’. hahahaha


Sebee, looks more grey to me…..


Call it metallic grey and we’ll sort this stalemate out quickly for once.


Part of me tells me they did it on purpose.


Stand by for color change, added aero,and sponsors logos, on halo for first race, that will cheer you up Seabee !


….and right there Peteinthewest, we have a reason to start a comment chain about the perfect sponsor brands for halos!

I’m putting forward:

Victoria’s Secret for Red Bull

Havaianas for Ferrari

Bugaboo for Mercedes

MacLaren (strollers again) for McLaren

Dulcolax suppositories for Williams toilet seat

Glycerin suppositories for Sauber toilet seat


@ Sebee…of course it’s their fault. Who else could it possibly be ? Jean Todt slipped in at the dead of night with a can of black spray paint ? No, it’s been left black just to reinforce Wolff’s displeasure at having to install this ugly abomination on his cars.


It’s really the first car I have seen so far where I have noticed the halo from first glance. The fin area looks like a flat piece of sheet metal, just from the angle of the pic really… doubt this diva ( a little less radical than what I was expecting) will be a bullet though!

Certain tones and pitches in JA’s voice during that Bottas interview….resemblance to Murray was uncanny!


This one makes me laugh, because it’s shot perfectly against the black background, with the icing on the cake – dudes in black clothing to let it blend into the background. No doubt this frame was a strategic choice.

I think Mercedes here is doing a suck-up to the fans. They know we don’t like the halo, and they are playing it like they are on our side. Talking about chainsaws and doing nothing to glorify the halo. I mean…if it was silver, matching the color of the car, it would look better perhaps. Then again, if painted silver it may potentially become a reflective mirror surface for light into driver eyes.

These PU “efficient-fuel-saving-3-engine-to save-money-take-the-penalty-and-go-to-back-of-grid” halo cars fully justify being sentimental about the good ol’ days.


Couldn’t they have painted the Halo so it fits in with the colour of the car a bit? I mean it’s a pug ugly device, but at least the other teams have tried to blend it into the look of the car.

I can’t imagine the Halo will be black on the Ferrari launch.


Good lord, when will we hear the end of this ‘diva’ talk. It won 12 races and took 15 poles!!

Car looks good, unsurprisingly.


Err actually one driver got the majority of those poles and wins to the extent their own engineers conceded that some of them were the driver and specifically not the car.

You do not know many race engineers if you think comments like that are par for course or season!


Ever hear of a diva who’s concerned about efficiency and fuel savings?

Burn that oil you filthy diva you!


Sebee, ever hear of an F1 car that wasn’t concerned with efficiency and fuel savings?

Oil burning is banned.


They think they’re funny or something. It’s sandbagging. They sandbagged the entire 2017 season, except Monza.


“It won 12 races and took 15 poles!!”

And would have won even less had Vettel handled pressure a little better and not chuck away wins at Baku, Singapore, Spain, Mexico and even Malaysia ( who is to say Vettel crashing the car in Singapore did not lead to the car’s troubles in Malaysia?)


vettel enjoys crashing so much so that he crashed twice within a minute..baku.


Yeah, if you control for the importance of the engine and the longer wheelbase their performance was actually pretty consistent all year. Hamilton’s performance vs Bottas was the main thing that changed from H1 to H2.


On a different note, this has to be the ugliest “Haloed” car on the grid. The colour scheme simply does it no justice.

They should have a look at Renault. It is also black (like theirs), yet they integrated it into the car much better.


Kb, I think Ferrari and Mercedes share the ‘worst halo’ award, looks good on the Sauber.


I guess the “diva” issue comes from how much work they had to put in to make the car rack up those stats – 12races/ 15 poles.

It must have been much easier for them in previous seasons.

Furthermore, i doubt without Hamilton, the car could have racked up those stats. Proof is in how many pole Valteri got and how many races he came behind Sebastian.


@ KRB….The games up KRB…you’re Aveli’s alter ego. The first sentence gives you away!!!


Oblah, those in the know in F1 know that Hamilton is one of the greatest drivers of all time.

What you get on here is just people who wish that wasn’t the case, making silly arguments and deriding Lewis whenever he’s – God forbid – less than perfect.


Oblah, the F1 fraternity has long accepted Lewis as one of the greatest. A small number of internet keyboard warriors however, disagree.


An objective comment, that most around this forum will disagree. Every year i read the same thing.

“Bottas gonna beat hamilton. He hasn’t EVER lost to a teammate” or “Rosberg is a genius level engineer, the 2014 regulation will suite him better than hamilton”. Come november – ” bottas was trash, nico is a weak driver” etc.

When oh when, will the f1 fraternity accept lewis as one of the greatest.


I guess until it doesn’t show those qualities? Some races last year, the understeer was horrible, it looked like a boat. The car looks around the same length as last year … thought the wisdom was that Merc would shorten their wheelbase, while Ferrari would lengthen theirs. Thought that everyone would go in for the Ferrari sidepods with the swept-back element a bit forward. I’m a little underwhelmed looking at the Merc, to be honest.


I’m almost thinking maybe they have made a big mistake being so cautious with their design.


KRB, brother. It’s a common misconception but the wheelbase never contributed to the diva-like qualities of the w08. It was the suspension ban, specifically getting the aero/tire into the window. The pre-season ban meant they couldn’t adequately get the fronts and rears at optimal temperatures.

The merc, on balance was the fastest car but was dreadful to setup. If they’ve ironed that out, i reckon the 5th (wdc) is more or less a formality.

The w09 is an evolution and refinement. Look at the coke bottle, much tighter. Rear suspension upright, higher. Sidepod intake, slimmer and higher.

With James Allison at the helm, I have no doubt the car will be a monster and if it’s not, they’ll develop it into one.


The car looks around the same length as last year

I read today (can’t remember who, maybe Mark Hughes or Craig Scarborough) the Merc wheelbase is exactly the same as last year with a slightly increased rake angle.


2 nick H…yes, i fully concur. This ‘ D ‘ word is so overused by everyone that it has become awfully grating like so many other buzzwords!!!!!

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