“Of course, we had a curve ball from Nico late last year that left us scrambling a little bit in the winter. But we found a great solution with Valtteri and I am sure that he will form a strong partnership with Lewis. They have both been working hard in the factory with the technical teams and, although we have a different dynamic to manage than in recent seasons, I don’t expect the competition between them to be less intense. And that’s how we like it.
“This year, in-season development will play a big role in determining the championship outcome. None of us know where we will stand at the first race but I am confident that, whatever that position is, we have the people and the capability to deal with every challenge that comes our way. This will be the season where our full works team can show its true strength.”
What’s in a name?
Today’s launch is not just the premiere of a new car – it also marks the global debut of a new technology label throughout the model range of Mercedes-AMG and Mercedes-Benz.
At the 2016 Paris Motor Show, Mercedes-Benz unveiled its new product brand for electric mobility: EQ. The name EQ stands for “Electric Intelligence” and is derived from the Mercedes-Benz brand values of “Emotion and Intelligence”. EQ aims to make electric mobility simple, comfortable, safe and accessible for everybody.
From the forthcoming facelift of the S-Class, all future Mercedes-Benz Plug-In Hybrids will carry the designation “EQ Power”. And the launch of the F1 W08 EQ Power+ makes the new F1 car the first Mercedes-AMG Hybrid to receive the “EQ Power+” designation, which will be used on all future Mercedes-AMG performance hybrids.
The new model designation has been translated graphically into the livery of the new W08, with an electric blue visual representation of the airflow across the car running from the front wing to trailing edge of the sidepods. This distinctive signature derives from the electro-look of the Concept EQ unveiled last year.
A complementary, competitive driver pairing
One of the most significant changes for the new season sees Valtteri Bottas become just the fourth Silver Arrows driver of the modern era in 2017. Next to him in the garage will be three-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, who comes to the new season refreshed and reinvigorated.
“It’s been a fantastic winter and an exciting training season for me,” explained Lewis of his preparations for the increased physical demands of 2017.
I’ve added a new element to my training regime that has kept it really enjoyable and I’m in great shape. Then I’ve visited the factory and that has been super encouraging to see the way in which everybody is working.
“After all the success we have had, people could be sitting back and resting on their achievements. So it’s inspiring to see how everybody is pushing even harder than ever and taking nothing for granted at all.
“This is the most exciting period of the year when the car comes together – and my privilege as a driver is then to get to feel what it’s like and what all the team has worked for.