Double World Champions Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS have become the latest team to unveil their 2016 challenger after taking the covers off the W07, the car the team hope propel them to a third consecutive Driver and Constructors’ Championship triumph.
The W07 took to the track for the first time last Friday in a promotional event at Silverstone, with both reigning champion Lewis Hamilton and team-mate Nico Rosberg getting time in the car, but the first proper running will come during the first pre-season test that gets underway on Monday at the Circuit de Catalunya.
Paddy Lowe, the Executive Director (Technical) of Mercedes, revealed that despite the apparent domination of Formula 1 last year, when the car took sixteen victories, they are still seeking perfection on the race track, and that the W07 contains a number of ‘mini revolutions’ for 2016.
“After a highly successful season all round in 2015, our priority has been to identify the areas in which we were weakest and to try to improve on those,” revealed Lowe. “Our objective is excellence in all areas and, while we had some fantastic results last year, there are many areas in which we can still be much better.
“That’s the kind of culture we try to instill throughout the whole organisation – one of constantly striving to reach something better. We had a number of races that didn’t go to plan in 2015 – Singapore in particular – so there were a lot of things that needed improving for 2016. We are seeking optimisation absolutely everywhere.
“While the car may look very similar to its predecessor from the outside – as is inherent within stable regulations – underneath there are quite a lot of mini revolutions that make up an overall evolution for the new season.”
Lowe also revealed that the car seen at the launch will be pretty close to the car that will race in the season opening Australian Grand Prix, due to the fact that there is so little time between the two tests and the first race.
“What’s different for 2016 is actually not so much that there are only two tests – but that they’re both very close to the first race of the season,” said Lowe. “This has notably reduced the extent to which we can upgrade the car from ‘launch spec’ to the first race spec.
“That window is now very narrow, which reduces the number of potential upgrades ahead of the opening Grand Prix weekend.”