Mercedes introduces their 2017 title defender, the W08

Reigning Formula 1 world champion Mercedes have officially unveiled their 2017 race car, the W08, at a launch event at Silverstone.

The Silver Arrows has already broken cover earlier when it completed a few laps under the sport’s “filming day” allowance with Lewis Hamilton at the wheel

Its nose is narrower and features a more rounded end compared to the thumb stub as seen on rivals Williams, Sauber and Renault.

A small shark fin was revealed at the race track, but a larger version of it is expected to be tested later.

“It is so exciting to see this thing come together,” said Hamilton as he and new team-mate Valtteri Bottas revealed the car.

“From working in the windtunnel, then they have this jig which is into real carbon fibre, you see it all come together, do the seat fitting over the winter and in the last few days seeing it all appearing, somehow they all just slot in perfectly.

“Driving today, naturally the car feels wider, which it is, and the front tyres feel huge.

“There is quite a lot of grip already even in the cold conditions here.

“This is not a test, really the laps I did today were behind a vehicle to get filming in and just a shakedown.

“I got to go a little bit faster but it’s so gusty and it is wet.”

Former Williams driver Bottas had a late call to join the team that has dominated the last three Formula 1 seasons after Nico Rosberg retired days after clinching the 2016 championship.

“It is a big day for me,” said Bottas.

“Driving a Silver Arrow for the first time is something very special.

“I have been waiting for this moment for quite a while and also for the test for a long time.

“I am going to drive the car in less than an hour, it feels real and I am amazed how good the car is looking.

“What I really like about this is how clean it looks, but there is a massive amount of detail on the rear end and bargeboards – development has been done – and how far everything has been taken with this car.

“It looks cool.”

Mercedes has dominated the sport since 2014, when the championship switched to a V6 turbo-hybrid engine formula, winning 51 of the 59 Grands Prix.

5 thoughts to “Mercedes introduces their 2017 title defender, the W08”

  1. Lewis Hamilton says he believes the new faster Formula 1 cars this year will be a “massive challenge”.

    The Mercedes driver said he had trained hard but had no idea whether he was fit enough for cars which could be four seconds a lap faster than 2016.

    “I don’t know if I’ll be easily fit enough, or will struggle a bit or be super-underneath and need to work harder,” the 32-year-old said.

    While confident, he said he did not know if Mercedes would remain in front.

    The three-time world champion, in an exclusive interview with BBC Radio 5 live, added that he:

    Was over losing the title to team-mate Nico Rosberg last year
    Looked forward to the challenge of his new partner Valtteri Bottas
    Was concerned some aspects of the new rules might not work
    Believed Red Bull’s form was the one to watch before the start of pre-season testing
    Hoped new F1 owners Liberty Media would implement changes to make the sport more exciting

    Hamilton lost the world title last year at least partly because he had worse reliability than Rosberg.

    But asked how much that hurt, he said: “Nowhere near as much as you think. It doesn’t change my life. You just move onwards and hopefully upwards.”

    Hamilton said it would be “strange” not having Rosberg in the team following the German’s decision to retire last season but added: “I have rivalry with everyone so it doesn’t really matter who it is against.”

    Of his new Finnish team-mate, who joins from Williams, Hamilton said: “I have known him a little bit from being at the track and he seems a really nice, pleasant guy and I look forward to working with him and racing against him. I always welcome challenges and competition.”

    Botta, 27, added: “I’ve always wanted to be partnering a team-mate who is very good and Lewis obviously is.

    “At the same time for me it’s also a big challenge. I’m still much less experienced than him but I almost see that is a positive thing and a good thing.

    “I’m just very happy to see Lewis as my team-mate and I see no reason why we couldn’t be a good pair of team mates and race hard on track.”

    F1 has introduced new rules this year that have changed the look of the cars and made them much faster.

    Swept back front wings, lower and wider rear wings, bigger tyres and a larger floor area should add up to at least a 30% increase in downforce and vastly faster cornering speeds and forces.

    In addition, Pirelli has been told to produce tyres on which drivers can push hard throughout a grand prix, rather than having to nurse them by driving a second or more off the pace to prevent them overheating.

    But Hamilton said he had concerns about whether the new rules would improve F1.

    “My engineers say it’s going to be a lot harder to overtake,” Hamilton said. “If we see overtaking is worse, it’s going to be worse for the fans, the spectacle will be worse so I’m hoping that’s not the case.

    “For example, I heard tyres might not be as grippy as we’d hoped but the aero downforce is going to be huge because it’s a bigger, wider car so there’s going to be more downforce, so the car behind will be affected even more than it ever was before.

    “And I’ve heard the engineers said this would potentially happen and there is an alternative route but this is the route that’s chosen.

    “So we are where we are and I really hope that the engineers, who are the smartest guys, are wrong and I hope that the spectacle is greater and the most competitive that it’s ever been and if it is, then I look forward to being part of that.”

    Hamilton said expecting Mercedes to dominate this year in the manner of the past three seasons was “just jumping to the easy conclusion”.

    He added: “It’s a completely new slate. It might be Ferrari at the front, it might be Red Bull, we have no idea.

    “I think the big unknown is Red Bull, I think they always create an amazing car and this is a new area of downforce and they’re amazing at creating downforce so I think it’ll be really interesting to see what they pull out and I’m hoping it’ll be a real mixture of competition.

    “I hope it’ll be close so we’ll be fighting with Red Bull and Ferrari. That’s what the fans want to see.”

    US group Liberty Media completed its takeover of F1’s commercial arm last month, removed Bernie Ecclestone as chief executive, and is formulating plans for the future.

    Hamilton said: “I’m excited for the new owners who have come in and I hope they do something new and I really think they’re going to bring new blood, new ideas, new ways of engaging the fans in a new and unique way.

    “F1 is a bit outdated in the sense that if you look at other sports they’re further ahead in the entertainment factor but F1 is catching up and I think there’s a lot of catching up to do.”

    He said he believed Liberty should ask the fans for their opinions.

    “The first step would be to see what the fans feel they’re lacking, what they feel they would want more of,” he said. “I think you’d get a good balance of opinions of people who have been to a grand prix. You’d get a lot of opinions but, a bit like our government, it might go the wrong way.”

    Source: BBCF1

  2. Lewis Hamilton says he cannot wait for the challenge of not only a new Mercedes car, but also a new team mate and potential rival in Valtteri Bottas in 2017.

    After four years of partnering Nico Rosberg – during which the pair won three championships and 54 races – the Briton says it will be ‘interesting’ to see how he and Bottas fit together, particularly in the heat of battle.

    “Fresh ideas and blood is always a good thing, and Valtteri’s fresh ideas and energy will add to the great foundation we have as a team,” Hamilton told reporters at Silverstone, where Mercedes officially unveiled their 2017 F1 car on Thursday.

    “I don’t know Valtteri very well [but] we’ve always had pleasant discussions. Ultimately right now there is no competition between us so it is purely on a gentleman’s discussion which seems to be fine.

    “When he sees me at my most intense moment and vice versa that will be an interesting scenario for us. And that’s something we’ll discover about each other – where their strengths and weaknesses are.

    “He wants to beat me just as much as I want to beat him; that’s natural. I wouldn’t expect anything but the best from him – and I want him to be at his best.”

    Hamilton said part of his enthusiasm for the looming rivalry stemmed from also having to work out how best to adapt to the new generation of cars, adding: “It’s a clean slate this year. We’ve got an almost completely new formula.

    “And it’s a challenge for everyone – the team and also us drivers. Who can exploit the car the best, who can be the most consistent, who can be quickest out the gates?

    “I love that challenge every year. And if another driver is doing it better than me, I love the challenge of having to try and catch up, and work out how I do a better job than them.”

    Having raced alongside Rosberg for every year he has been at the Silver Arrows, Hamilton admitted it will be odd to start the season without the German in the adjacent garage – but insisted he has no plans to follow the world champion into retirement anytime soon.

    “I don’t think I’ve ever missed a team mate in my life – there’s generally always someone else to take the place,” he said. “But it is definitely going to feel strange. It already is [strange] going down to the garage and seeing someone else next to me. But you soon get used to it.

    “One day when I leave another driver will come along. Initially it will perhaps feel strange, but you soon get used to what you have. Every now and then I have a thought about what I would do afterwards – but then I see that car and I’m like ‘I think I’ll stay’.

    “I don’t know how long I’ll be staying but at the moment I’m still competitive, still hungry, and still driving at my best – so no matter who I’m up against, I feel like I can put up a good fight!”


  3. Bottas: Flashpoints with Hamilton not inevitable as reported by

    New Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas insists he can maintain a peaceable relationship with team mate Lewis Hamilton, and avoid falling into the fractious tensions that marked Hamilton’s recent time with 2016 world champion Nico Rosberg.

    Speaking to reporters at Silverstone, where Mercedes unveiled their new W08 car on Thursday, Bottas said: “I think it is possible [to avoid flashpoints]. We haven’t raced yet together, but so far it has been good.

    “I see no reason we couldn’t work professionally as a good pair of team mates, race hard but fair and work well as a team. I see no reason why that wouldn’t be possible.”

    Bottas bettered his Williams team mate in all of his four years of F1 racing to date – against Pastor Maldonado in 2013, and Felipe Massa in 2014/15/16 – and the Finn insists he will not change approach to beat Hamilton.

    “It’s going to be a great challenge going up against Lewis as my team mate. Obviously it is never going to be easy to beat him – he is a great driver, a three-time champion, but I don’t have any special plan other than to keep doing what I am.

    “If I thought I couldn’t compare or be quicker, I would rather stay at home. I believe in myself, I believe it is possible – but like I say I do need to go step by step, race by race.

    “It is a big learning curve for me, and we still haven’t done a single lap together in the same car, so it is only guessing how we will compare – but we will find out soon. I’m feeling good, and as usual I will do every single thing I can and trust my talent.”

    Bottas drove a handful of laps in the W08 at Silverstone as Mercedes a filming session on Thursday, but will begin testing in earnest next week alongside his F1 rivals at Spain’s Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

  4. Mercedes’ brand-new F1 W08 challenger will undergo an aggressive evolution before the first race of the season in Melbourne, with engineering director Aldo Costa saying that every surface of the car ‘will change’.

    The Silver Arrows shook down their 2017 car during a launch event at Silverstone on Thursday, and immediately went about testing different configurations, with an unusual ‘T-wing’ on view for one run. Costa said this was the first step in “a continuous programme of evolution” throughout pre-season testing, which gets underway at Barcelona on Monday.

    “As you have seen, the launch spec was without the little T-wing, and then we tested it – and then we will carry on in Barcelona day by day testing different configurations,” Costa explained.

    “We will have as well a longer tail configuration to be tested in combination with new rear wings for Melbourne.

    “The car in essence from now until Melbourne will change all the aerodynamic surfaces.”

    On the power unit front, Andy Cowell, Managing Director of Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains, said that the Silver Arrows have made improvements “in pretty much every single area”, though he remained coy on where it would leave them relative to their opponents.

    “The base architecture of our ERS system is similar to what we started with in 2014. Is it the same for this year? No, it is not, there is improvement in the high power switches, they are more efficient. There are several improvements in reliability within the box, which means we can run it harder for longer.

    “We are not as vulnerable to having to derate the system for cooling reasons because of heating effects within the module.

    “The MGU-H is completely new as a consequence of the drive cycle change and the MGU-K is new as well. It is a big evolution.

    “So we’ve made an improvement. Is it a big one? That depends on where you are against your opponent.”


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