As the opening round of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship looms, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas say they are ‘excited’ and ‘ready to go’ for lights out in Bahrain.
The reigning world champions have launched their 2021 machinery ahead of pre-season testing in just over a weeks time, and the team say they are hoping to replicate the same dominant form they have showcased in recent years.
Now a seven-time champion and knight of the British Empire, Hamilton is also vying for the same success in what is rumoured to be his final season in Formula 1. Having signed a one-year deal in February, the Stevenage-born racer says he has been preparing all winter for what he expects to be an exhilarating season.
“The launch day of a new car is always a really exciting one,” said Lewis. “It’s great to reveal to the world the result of everyone’s hard work at the factories and to see some of my team-mates in person, which has been so rare during the past year.”
“I’ve been in touch with the engineers through the winter, keeping track of their preparations as I prepare myself for the season ahead. The excitement has been building and building, so now I just can’t wait to get out on track in the W12.”
2020 runner-up Valtteri Bottas is another keen to wear the championship-winning overalls once more. The Finn reciprocated Lewis’ delight to witness the W12 launch first-hand, citing that he is ‘happy to be back’ with the German marque.
“Obviously we haven’t been able to visit the factory much in the past year, so firstly, I’m really happy to be back here and to see the new car in person for the first time,” said Bottas.
“I’ve been getting regular updates on how things are progressing, so it’s nice to now be able to see the end result in the flesh and that just gets me more fired up for the new season. The cars are pretty similar to last year but there are some interesting aero changes that will have an impact on how the car handles and performs, so I’m looking forward to seeing how it feels on track in Bahrain.”
With both drivers expecting contract terminations after the season finishes, 2021 likely marks the last year we will see a Hamilton-Bottas partnership on the Formula 1 grid, and may perhaps also be the final season either of the two will race in the sport altogether. Considering the pair’s fierce competitiveness, fans can expect a thrilling and riveting climax to what could well be the end of an era.