Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport have launched the car they hope will lead them to a fifth successive world championship at the Silverstone International Circuit.
The W09 EQ Power+ broke cover before the official launch, with Valtteri Bottas taking the new car through some installation laps on a damp circuit. Lewis Hamilton is set to perform the same task this afternoon.
For the second year in succession, Bottas is joined by reigning world champion Hamilton – who starts his sixth season with the team, in search of a fifth world title of his own. Pascal Wehrlein – who faces a season back in the DTM Series after losing his seat at the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team – is the official reserve driver.
The car is largely a natural successor to the W08 from last year, with Mercedes adopting smaller sidepod inlets, a nod to rival team Scuderia Ferrari‘s solution last year. The main difference is the inclusion of the halo safety device, mandatory on all cars this season.
Once again, main sponsorship comes from Malaysian oil giants Petronas, with supporting acts comprising of Epson, Qualcomm and new partners Tommy Hilfiger.