Mercedes AMG Petronas reveal their car for the 2018 season the Mercedes F1 W09
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News February 22, 2018 Updated: 2:53 PM PT
With four World Constructor’s titles, Mercedes AMG Petronas hopes to continue their dominance this season with the launch of the Mercedes-AMG F1 W09 EQ Power+.
Mercedes debuted the new car at the Silverstone Circuit where four-time world champion Lewis Hamilton and teammate Valtteri Bottas had a chance to take the car out for a few laps.
“It’s very humbling to see everything coming together,” said Lewis Hamilton. “People have worked so hard on this car, committed for such a long period of time. I’m just keen to get out there and take it to its limits. I’m one of only two people who get to drive it and there’s this proud feeling because I know how much work has gone into getting the car ready.”
Last year, Lewis Hamilton lead the way to Mercedes clenching their fourth constructors title while making history with his fourth driver’s championship after a tough battle with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
Teammate Valtteri Bottas enters his second year with the team after replacing Nico Rosberg who retied from the sport after the 2016 season.
“It’s really amazing to know how many hours have been spent on designing and manufacturing the new car and how much effort people have put into it,” said Valtteri Bottas. “As a driver you feel really special to be able to drive that machine.”
Speaking with the media, Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff explains the struggle of keeping the things that made the W08 a dominant force on the grid last year but hoping to do away with the things that earned it the nickname “diva”.
“We like some of the character traits from our diva,” explained Toto. “The W08 was the fastest car on the grid, scoring the highest number of pole positions and winning the most races last year. So we were careful not to lose the car’s many strengths just to overcome the difficulties.”
With a number of changes this season, such as the banning of T-wings and the addition of the Halo head protection device as well as changes to the engine regulations with a limited number of power unit components for the season, reliability will be key if the team is to have another dominate season.
“The amount of change on the power unit for this year is quite considerable and driven by a number of requirements,” said Andy Cowell, Managing Director of Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains. “The biggest challenge we’ve got is lifting our durability limit with the challenge of racing just three engines per driver per championship and two ERS systems. That’s a 40 per cent increase in the distance that the hardware needs to do for this year compared with last year. We focussed on trying to increase the life of the hardware without losing performance.”
The Mercedes and the W09 will take it’s first official laps when preseason testing begins from Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain next week.