Current World Champions Mercedes have revealed their new car, the W08, following a shakedown at Silverstone today.
The W08 looks radical in its design, and beyond the new paint job featuring some metallic blue go faster stripes going down the silver side pods, it’s clear the team have interpreted the new aero rules differently than the other teams so far. The car has retained a tight “size zero” look throughout, and the team have opted not to run a shark fin on the rear of the car like their competitors have so far. Their front wing assembly has clearly had a lot of time devoted to it, and overall the car looks pretty, and more importantly fast.
Mercedes have established themselves as F1’s dominant force since the switch to hybrid turbo engines three years ago, with three successive Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships, along with 51 wins from 59 races. The team will be hoping the W08 lives up to its predecessor’s success, and brings them a fourth consecutive Drivers and Constructors world championship. However, many believe the shake-up of the technical rules for 2017 is set to pose a renewed threat to their supremacy. Particularly rivals Red Bull have been heavily tipped to mount a more sustained push towards the world title, though many still believe Mercedes will still be the team to beat.
Mercedes have not had the quietest of winter breaks, as just days after winning his world championship, Nico Rosberg stunned the team by sensationally announcing his retirement from the sport effective immediately. The result was the team scrambling to find a good like for like replacement for Rosberg to partner Lewis Hamilton for the season. The team ultimately were able to secure Williams driver Valtteri Bottas on a one season contract, following some serious negotiations with the Williams team. The Finn is rated highly as a driver, despite not winning a race yet. Hamilton meanwhile enters his fifth season at the team and has set his sights on winning the fourth drivers world championship of his career.
Mercedes have also parted ways with technical chief Paddy Lowe over the winter, although they won’t be without a technical chief for long following the signing of ex Ferrari technical chief James Allison. Allison will start work on March 1, has enjoyed past title-winning success at Ferrari and Renault respectively, and will head up Mercedes’ technical operation as they aim to carry on their championship winning ways.
Feature Image Credit: Mercedes AMG Petronas Press Release