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This is Lewis Hamilton's new F1 car
Mercedes unveils Hamilton and Bottas's car for the 2017 season, the F1 W08 EQ Power+
This, girls and boys, is the car that will win the 2017 Formula 1 world championship. Perhaps. It’s this year’s Mercedes F1 contender, seen today for the first time as it racked up 60 miles lapping Silverstone ahead of pre-season testing proper.
It’s called the Mercedes F1 W08 EQ Power+, which Merc claims is the new tag for Mercedes-AMG Hybrid models. It will be driven by Lewis Hamilton – of course – and Valtteri Bottas, who replaces Nico Rosberg following the 2016 champion’s shock retirement.
And doesn’t it look long? Perhaps it’s a visual trick from the photography, but the wheelbase looks enormous. Other points of note are the shape of its rear wing and some exceedingly complex front aero. Even the smallest bit of contact during a first-lap, first-corner melee looks like it could have dramatic consequences on lap time.
The W08 shares 17 per cent of its components with last year’s W07, with a lot of the new parts focused on utilising F1’s new aerodynamic rules. The power unit, meanwhile, is said to be the strongest of Merc’s hybrid F1 powerplants yet.
Over to Lewis: “After all the success we have had, people could be sitting back and resting on their achievements. So it’s inspiring to see how everybody is pushing even harder than ever and taking nothing for granted at all.
“This is the most exciting period of the year when the car comes together – and my privilege as a driver is then to get to feel what it’s like and what all the team has worked for.”
Enough of the car. What about new teammate Bottas? “I’m feeling in a positive place with the team – we talked about a lot of stuff over the winter, I was able to get some things off my chest and now we are communicating better than ever and continuing to grow together.
“I’m the best equipped I have ever been to work with my teammate and manage the relationship with my experience and maturity.
“I welcome Valtteri to the team and I know that the team will be giving us both everything they can to win the championship.”
And Valtteri’s view? “Right now, it’s a very exciting feeling for me. I want to say a big thank you to everyone in our factories for getting this car ready to go. It’s been a massive effort and I’ve got a lot of respect for the shape we are in at the moment.
“But it’s only the first step – and this is where the work really begins.”
Reckon the title is Merc’s to lose? And how hard to you think Bottas will push Hamilton? Predictions below, please…