World champions Mercedes unveils their 2020 challenger, the W11

This is the new W11 from the defending Formula 1 world champions, Mercedes. The German car manufacturer hopes that this 2020 race car can earn the team’s their seventh successive title.

Mercedes released some images of the W11 online followed by a shakedown test at a filming day at Silverstone.

Mercedes will have an unchanged driver line-up this year, with Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas remaining on board for the fourth season as teammates.

The Brackley-based team had already revealed the tweaked livery of the W11 at a sponsorship event with new principal partner INEOS.

Mercedes success in the V6 turbo-hybrid era has broken several records and 2019 was one of its most emphatic seasons yet.

The team won the first eight races of the season, 15 in total from the 21 grands prix, and banked 739 points – its second-highest tally despite more competition than before.

However, while Ferrari and Red Bull had clear peaks and moments of superiority over Mercedes last year, neither put together a full title challenge.

That is expected to change this year, the final season with this set of car regulations, which means Mercedes’ should face the biggest threat to its dominance.

“I think success is taking each day at a time,” said team boss Toto Wolff about Mercedes’ 2020 goals. “Today success would be a good shakedown, we clock the mileage and get the filming in, both drivers get a first feeling with the car.

“No brake failure would be good!”

Hamilton said he did not feel any pressure at this point of his season preparations, and batted away talk he has seen from other drivers including Max Verstappen – who was recently quoted as saying that Hamilton was “good but not God”.

When asked at Mercedes’ shakedown about winter comments from rivals, Hamilton replied: “I find it funny, seeing that. I’ve always known to do my talking on the track. Often I tend to see [off-track comments] as a sign of weakness.”

Hamilton has never questioned Mercedes’ work ethic but it was clear last year that he felt there was plenty of room to improve with its 2020 car.

That was down to the aerodynamic and engine sides of the package.

“It’s not been a great year for us in terms of the great issue, in terms of our engine development,” said Hamilton in 2019. “It’s just not been as successful in that department, as I say.

“We’ll push to try and maybe reduce the drag a little bit but also increase power for next year.”

Earlier this year, Mercedes High Performance Powertrains chief Andy Cowell said his team had indeed targeted “lots of improvements across the whole power unit, on the ERS side and on the internal combustion engine side”.

The work on the W11 that began in late-2018 will have evolved to incorporate the lessons of the chassis department last year, too.

3 thoughts to “World champions Mercedes unveils their 2020 challenger, the W11”

  1. Evolution or revolution? Our first take on Mercedes’ 2020 F1 car as posted by

    Is the W11 the car that will deliver Mercedes an unprecedented seventh straight world championship double? Mark Hughes gives us his first impressions of the new Silver Arrow…

    Having won every title since 2014, the reigning world champions stayed faithful to their long-established long-wheelbase/low-rake concept for 2019’s W10, even with the change in aero regulations which introduced a wider and much simplified front wing.

    However, the emphasis was changed away from high-speed front downforce to a more balanced spread between front and rear downforce, with more emphasis on low-speed performance. This brought with it some penalty in aerodynamic efficiency but was a better match with the full spread of circuit types on the calendar.

    The W10 answered the demands of the new regs that year with a full-depth front wing at the outboard ends, in contrast to rivals Ferrari who opted to not load the outboard end so much, so as to achieve a greater outwash around the front wheels.

    So how much of that all-conquering 15-race-winning car have Mercedes brought over to the W11? First impressions show that it’s still the same long car, following the same fully loaded outboard wing approach.

    However, the more extreme-looking nose uplift in profile, together with significantly realigned sidepods and what Mercedes’ tech chief James Allison describes as an ‘adventurous suspension layout’ at the rear make this a very significant-looking upgrade.

    The W11 features a lower-mounted upper side impact beam (indicated by the red lozenge on the drawing above, compared to last year’s yellow lozenge). This was an innovation when introduced by Ferrari on their 2017 car but has since been widely copied.

    Mercedes are one of the last to incorporate the feature, which allows the main body of the sidepod to begin further back, thereby giving the airflow fed from the front wing and through the barge boards more length in which to re-attach itself to the bodywork of the car. This should give a better, faster, airflow that will ultimately draw harder on the underfloor when it exits, boosting the underbody downforce.

    Mercedes have confirmed upgrades will be added to the W11 ahead of race one in Melbourne, but they won’t be bringing an entirely new car to the second week of testing, as they did in 2019. Regardless, they remain the team to beat – and on paper the W11 looks a formidable machine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *