With only a little over a month to go until the first race of the 2018 FIA Formula One season, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport today took the wraps off the all-new Mercedes-AMG F1 W09 EQ Power+.
Team partners, guests and media joined the team for the reveal show at Silverstone, while Mercedes fans around the world took part in the action and watched the unveiling of the new F1 challenger live online. For one fan, in particular, the shakedown day turned out to be a once in a lifetime experience. Having won the team’s launch contest, he and his stepdaughter were invited for a VIP experience on-site at Silverstone. The main reveal show paid tribute to Mercedes’ long motorsport history, featuring emotional footage of some of the team’s most painful defeats and most thrilling victories.
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As the most advanced machine ever conceived by Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, the 2018 car aims to write its own chapter in that long racing heritage while at the same time pushing the technological boundaries of motorsport. The F1 W09 EQ Power+ is improved in every area over its predecessor and will become the fastest Mercedes Formula One car in history.
Christened Mercedes-AMG F1 W09 EQ Power+, the new car proudly carries the “EQ Power+” designation which was launched to the world on last year’s car. As part of the naming strategy of Mercedes-AMG, “EQ Power+” stands for the brand’s future performance hybrid models. The Formula One team is proud to have led the way that was followed by the Mercedes-AMG Project ONE show car revealed in Frankfurt last year. The EQ Power+ designation places the F1 car and its state-of-the-art hybrid power unit at the forefront of the future Mercedes-AMG line-up, showcasing how F1 technology is accelerating the future of motor racing and automotive technology in general.
The launch was part of the team’s official 100 km filming day, during which the F1 W09 EQ Power+ completed its first laps of Silverstone’s 2.98 km International Circuit with Valtteri Bottas behind the wheel. Lewis Hamilton’s run in the car is scheduled for the early afternoon.
More than a machine: 1,000 years of working hours, the hopes and dreams of the entire Mercedes family
“It is always a very exciting time because what has been designed is coming together and coming alive,” said Toto Wolff, Team Principal & CEO of Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, describing the atmosphere in the team prior to launch day. “It’s never going completely seamlessly or smoothly when you’re trying to push the boundaries. We’ve had a good winter, I would say, no real drama. But it was a lot of hard work for everyone in the team.”
Since Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport started working on the new car nearly 7,000 drawn parts have been created, over 40,000 components have been through non-destructive testing inspection. In total, 3,150 Saturday morning breakfasts have been served in the team’s on-site restaurant…
“The winter is intense,” continued Technical Director James Allison. “The planners have got thousands of lines of plans to deliver on, the design group have got to deliver several hundred new designs per day in order that they can be made. The test and development group and the team running the dynos have to stand ready as the pieces come in hot from the machines, to assemble them and put them on all the in-house testing kit. This allows us to be reasonably sure that everything is strong enough and has the right shape and will perform reliably.”
While working on different areas of the car, the approach to developing and building the new car is the same in Brackley and Brixworth. Last year’s Championships don’t impact the way the two factories prepare for the season. Every team member knows that the points reset to zero for 2018 – and that even greater challenges await in 2018.
“We are trying to stay humble and just keep doing the fundamental work we have always done,” explains Andy Cowell, Managing Director of Mercedes-AMG High-Performance Powertrains. “There is no secret formula to what we do. It is plain, honest engineering work. If there’s an idea of how to reduce friction or improve combustion efficiency, we discuss it in our forum in a very forthright way. The sources of all ideas are human creativity, passion and enthusiasm.”
The outcome of roughly a millennium’s worth of working hours, the new car is more than a machine. It’s a demonstration of teamwork and represents the hopes and dreams not just of the drivers, the team, its partners and the entire Daimler family – but of Mercedes fans all around the world. The first shakedown run was watched with excitement not just by the team members at the circuit, in Brackley and Brixworth, but also by colleagues and fans around the globe.
“It’s really amazing to know how many hours have been spent on designing and manufacturing the new car and how much effort people have put into it,” said Valtteri Bottas. “As a driver, you feel really special to be able to drive that machine.”
“It’s very humbling to see everything coming together,” agreed Lewis Hamilton. “People have worked so hard on this car, committed for such a long period of time. I’m just keen to get out there and take it to its limits. I’m one of only two people who get to drive it and there’s this proud feeling because I know how much work has gone into getting the car ready.”