The Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team broke cover on their 2017 challenger, during a filming session at Silverstone today, when the W08 hybrid took to the track for its first few laps of the season.
Driver Lewis Hamilton was behind the wheel in gusty conditions, ahead of the official launch which began at 12:10 GMT today, and the W08 looked mightily impressive, its renowned silver and turquoise livery still on display, but with blue flashes which represent Mercedes new EQ Power+ brand, that Mercedes Motorsport Boss Toto Wolff explained, relates to “electric intelligence” and will be used in their hybrid road cars.
Perhaps surprisingly from what we have seen so far, have gone with a very small shark fin to the rear of the W08 compared to their competitors, though a large version is set to be tested at a later stage.
The German squad have not gone with the stepped nose, ala the Sahara Force India F1 Team, but have produced a narrower version of their 2016 model, with a more rounded tip. They also have a significantly larger floor area than the other 2017 machines seen thus far, as well as a very tightly packaged rear.
The W08 will be driven by Hamilton and new teammate Valtteri Bottas this season, the Finn having replaced Nico Rosberg, who retired at short notice just days after winning the 2016 title. It was a big day for Bottas who got his first chance to drive a silver arrows machine and described the experience as “very special”.
Having dominated F1 for the last three seasons, winning three constructor and three driver world championships in that time, if the rumours regarding the Mercedes engine making an unprecedented step forward over the winter are to be believed, the German team look set to continue in that vein on all fronts in 2017.