World champions Mercedes reveals the W12

Defending world champions Mercedes showcase their new 2021 racer, W12, and will go for the eighth consecutive constructors’ title this season.

Mercedes has retained the black-based livery for this year following its switch before the start of last season in a strong anti-racism message as supported by Lewis Hamilton.

But the team has replaced the speckled-star design on the engine cover, in favour of a series of stickers for its AMG brand against a background that fades to silver.

Although there is a majority carry-over from the W11 following the freeze on development, all Formula 1 teams have been permitted to spend two development tokens on major updates for the 2021 cars.

Mercedes revealed in February that it was battling some “issues” with its updated power unit, but was confident of getting fixes in place in time for the new season.

The German manufacturer enters the 2021 season following a busy winter off the back of its drivers’ and constructors’ championship successes last year.

The team announced shortly after the end of the season that INEOS had become a new shareholder, taking a one-third share in the squad, with team principal Toto Wolff upping his stake to the same level.

Wolff also agreed to continue to serve as Mercedes team principal for at least three more years, having overseen its streak of seven consecutive title wins since 2014.

While there are no changes in Mercedes’ driver line-up, the team only announced in February that seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton had signed for 2021, agreeing a one-year extension.

The deal ensured Hamilton stayed on the grid, but the short deal has led to a number of questions about his future beyond 2021.

Hamilton won 11 out of 17 races in 2020 as he swept to a record-equalling seventh Formula 1 championship, matching Michael Schumacher’s long-standing record.

Hamilton will be joined at Mercedes for a fifth season by championship runner-up Valtteri Bottas, who is also out of contract at the end of the year, making the team a key focus point in the driver market.

The Mercedes W12 will enjoy its first extended on-track running at the start of pre-season testing in Bahrain, which takes place from 12-14 March.

5 thoughts to “World champions Mercedes reveals the W12”

  1. Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton explains decision to sign one-year Mercedes extension. has the full story.

    Lewis Hamilton has explained his decision to only sign a one-year Formula 1 contract extension with Mercedes for 2021, saying there was no need to plan too far ahead.

    Mercedes announced in February that seven-time F1 world champion Hamilton had put pen to paper on a new contract with the team, keeping him on the grid for the 2021 season.

    It put an end to speculation about Hamilton’s immediate future, but led to questions about what would happen beyond the end of 2021 as both parties had traditionally sought multi-year agreements.

    Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff explained after the announcement that the late signing – delayed after both he and Hamilton contracted COVID-19 in recent months – meant a one-year deal would give more time to strike a longer-term deal in the future.

    Hamilton spoke for the first time about the decision to sign a one-year deal in the presentation of Mercedes’ new car, the W12, for the 2021 season.

    The Briton explained that his achievements – including becoming F1’s all-time win record holder last year, as well as matching Michael Schumacher’s tally of seven world titles – meant he felt no need to think too far ahead.

    “Firstly, I’m kind of in a fortunate position where I’ve achieved most of the stuff that I’ve wanted to achieve up to this point,” Hamilton said.

    “So there’s no real need necessarily to plan too far ahead in the future. I think we live in quite an unusual period of time in life, and I just wanted one year.

    “Then we can talk about if we do more, and keep adding it if we have to.”

    Hamilton was a leading voice for F1 last year in improving diversity throughout motorsport, announcing plans to establish a new commission to support the cause.

    In the contract announcement, Mercedes revealed it would be jointly setting up a charity with Hamilton with “the mission of supporting greater diversity and inclusion in all its forms in motorsport”.

    Asked about his main priorities heading into the 2021 season, Hamilton said his off-track work for improving equality and diversity was now a crucial focus point.

    “The main priority for 2021 – in the past it was just about winning championships,” Hamilton said.

    “Last year there was a lot of discussion about equality and inclusion, and I think there was a lot of talk. This year is all about pushing for diversity, and really making sure that action is taken.

    “That is at the core of the drive for me, but of course we exist to win, and that is what all these guys and girls here and working towards, so that is my goal, to deliver that for them.”

  2. Mercedes has confessed to hiding the floor design of its new W12 Formula 1 car as it doesn’t want to give rivals a head start on copying its ideas.

    The German car manufacturer revealed its 2021 F1 challenger on Tuesday morning, but it was noticeable that it was not fitted with a floor that appeared optimised for the new rules – so was clearly not its new version.

    F1 has introduced new aero regulations for this year that demand an area in front of the rear tyre is cutaway, as well as limiting the use of holes, in a bid to stop teams exploiting this area to help boost performance.

    How teams recover the lost downforce is likely to be decisive in the F1 title battle, which is why teams have been keeping developments in this area secret so far.

    Mercedes technical director James Allison said his outfit too was playing that game, which is why its W12 launch images did not features it new floor idea.

    “The bit we’re not showing you is down along the edge of the floor,” he explained.

    “That area is the area that was most affected by the new regulations, where they tried to pull performance away from the car by changing the floor regs. Down there, there’s a bunch of aerodynamic detail that we are not quite ready to release to the world.

    “Not because it’s not there, but because we don’t want our competitors to see it. We don’t want them starting to try and put similar things in their wind tunnels. It just buys us a couple of weeks extra.

    “I think we all look very closely at what our competitors do, so we know our competitors will be looking. And we don’t have to show it yet, so we’re not.”

    Allison said that other changes made to the W12 were more obvious – including a ‘sexy bulge’ on the engine cover that hides developments that have been made on the power unit.

    “It doesn’t take much more than a glance, to see that it is an old friend in many ways,” he said about the changes between the W11 and the W12. “It’s the same monocoque as last year, same gearbox as last year, and lots of the same structure underneath as last year.

    “But look a little closer and you’ll also see there are some fairly significant differences. Just a glance at the sidepod there, and you’ll see a rather sexy looking bulge in the engine cover, which is hiding some of the work that our friends at HPP have done to squeeze more horses into that power unit for us for the year.

    “And across the whole car. It is actually dressed in new clothes, new aerodynamic finery, that we hope will make it a successful car.”

    And while Allison said he was buzzing about the potential of the W12 as Mercedes targets its eighth consecutive F1 title double, he was equally aware that rivals had the potential to close up on the team.

    “We are utterly excited about everything that’s in front of us, but equally anxious,” he explained. “So much has changed in these regulations at a detailed level, but do really punish the car from a performance point of view.

    “Have we done enough to recover back that performance better than our competitors? None of us know, and yet we know we really care about it. And so the anxiety is quite high this time of year.”


  3. Both Hamilton and Bottas are out of contract come the end of the 2021 season, but Mercedes has no intention to “flirt” with other drivers yet. has the details.

    Mercedes has no intention of “flirting” with other drivers over potential future race seats until it knows what is happening with its current Formula 1 line-up.

    With both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas only signing one-year contract extensions with the team, the German car manufacturer could find itself exposed for 2022 if either of them move on.

    But while Max Verstappen has emerged as an obvious target for Mercedes if Hamilton does not continue in F1 beyond this year, the team has played down any talk of it scouting options early.

    Speaking at the launch of the new Mercedes W12, team principal Toto Wolff said that the focus was very much on continuing with Hamilton – and that is why it would not be looking at anyone else for now.

    “The symbiosis that we have in the relationship, it’s always that we have a mutual understanding of what we want to do in the future,” he said. “And that will be also the case in the discussions with Lewis going forward.

    “Max is certainly an outstanding young driver that will be on everybody’s radar in the future, but we are not flirting outside before we have a clear understanding with our two drivers.”

    Wolff was clear, however, that Mercedes and Hamilton would not repeat what happened last year when contract negotiations dragged on in to the winter.

    “We have agreed that we want to pick up the discussions much earlier this year, to avoid a situation like we had in 2020 where we ran out of time and were in the uncomfortable position that there is no time left before the beginning of the [next] season.

    “That’s also why we only did a one-year contract: in order to allow us to discuss the future in racing and outside of racing longer. And with the right amount of time.

    “What we’ve decided is to discuss things much earlier this year, not at the end of the season.”

    Wolff said that the team was comfortable with things and had no doubts that if Hamilton continued that it would be with Mercedes.

    “I think if Lewis continues to race we will want to do this together. And we will discuss it shortly,” he said. “And with Valtteri, we know exactly what we have and we appreciate this.

    “At the same time the landscape changes with new cars, new regulations, and we’ve got to take the right decision for the team going forward. But that also means that we will have the discussions with our two drivers first, and then we will see where that goes.”

    Despite Hamilton making it clear that he was not interested in committing himself to a longer term deal, Wolff said he had no doubts about the world champion still remaining in love with F1.

    “No, no doubt about his commitment,” he said. “First of all, he enjoys racing a lot. We enjoy working with each other. And we discussed that a lot.

    “But he’s absolutely right. Times change. New priorities for all of us in terms of the way we live our health. He’s very passionate about his initiatives, against racism and inequality.

    “And then we have this massive regulatory change in 2022, that’s going to reshape what Formula 1 will be for the next few years.

    “But I don’t think that this plays a role, to be honest. I think it’s fair enough for a driver that has won seven championships, to give himself the flexibility in his mind to decide what he wants to do in the future;whether this is racing or outside of the circus.”

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