Lewis Hamilton unveils new Mercedes W08 car
Lewis Hamilton and his new Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas unveiled the W08 car they will pilot in the 2017 Formula One season at Silverstone on Thursday.
The new car has a black, silver and teal chassis and has been produced to meet new regulations intended to make F1 cars faster and more demanding to drive.
Three-time champion Hamilton gave the car a spin amid blustery conditions at Silverstone, 80 miles (129 kilometres) northwest of London, before posing for pictures alongside Bottas.
“It is the most detailed piece of machinery I have seen in F1,” Hamilton said.
“This is not an actual test – it’s just a few laps to make sure the car will run. But I was able to go faster in the last couple of laps.
“It feels almost identical to last year’s car in terms of ergonomics, but you have this bigger, more powerful beast around you.”
Briton Hamilton, 32, finished second in the last year’s Drivers’ Championship behind team-mate Nico Rosberg, who abruptly retired at the end of the season.
Bottas, a 27-year-old Finn, has joined from Williams to succeed Rosberg.
As well as the departure of Rosberg, Mercedes have also lost executive technical director Paddy Lowe, who is expected to join Williams, with James Allison set to arrive from Ferrari to take his place.
But executive director Toto Wolff believes the upheaval could be positive.
“Disruption can be a very positive factor in a company’s development,” Wolff told a press conference at Silverstone.
“When Nico decided to call it a day, of course the initial information came as a surprise. But we quickly realised it provided an opportunity.
“Having Valtteri now in the car is an exciting opportunity for us. In terms of Paddy, it’s a little bit the same.
“You can either follow the concept of ‘never change a winning team’ or try to emphasise what’s important for the future.”
Mercedes will be looking to secure a fourth successive Constructors’ Championship when the 2017 season begins at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 26.
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