According to the reigning world champion, the elaborately named Mercedes-AMG F1 W09 EQ Power+ is an evolution of the car that won 12 races and took 15 pole positions in 2017, taking him to his fourth drivers’ crown as the Silver Arrows simultaneously secured a fourth straight constructors’ title.
The W09 was presented to the world’s media following an earlier shakedown run on Silverstone’s International Circuit, with Valtteri Bottas giving the car its maiden outing ahead of a similar familiarisation stint for Hamilton in the afternoon.
Running on demonstration tyres on a damp track, the Finn said it was hard to glean too much but that the new car ‘felt good’.
The 2017 Silver Arrow was affectionately dubbed a ‘diva’ within the team for its occasional lack of predictability, but according to Technical Director James Allison, this year’s machine should be easier to handle.
In addition to chassis changes, Mercedes say they have made major upgrades to their power unit in response to the reduction in the number of power unit components that can be used by each driver this season.
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 focused on trying to increase the life of the hardware without losing performance.
Mercedes will get a first chance to assess the true pace of the W09 when pre-season testing gets underway in Barcelona, Spain, next week.
Source : Mercedes Benz