They've already shown their livery, but now Mercedes have released the first images of their new challenger, the W11 – the car the team, and drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, hope will fire them to championship glory in 2020.
The new Silver Arrow was unveiled on Valentine's Day morning ahead of Mercedes' shakedown at Silverstone. In a 100km run, Bottas will take to the track first before Hamilton gets behind the wheel.
While the livery, complete with a new sponsor in INEOS, was unveiled on Monday at London’s Royal Automobile Club, these images show the real thing – the gold (or silver) standard for F1 cars since the start of the turbo-hybrid era as Mercedes have secured every title since 2014.
When asked ahead of the shakedown whether Ferrari's Charles Leclerc or Red Bull’s Max Verstappen posed a threat to him this season, Hamilton said he expected his biggest challenger for the world championship to be team mate Bottas. Asked if he had any reaction to F1’s young guns “giving a bit of chat about you” he replied: "I find it funny seeing that. I’ve just always been known to do my talking on the track. I tend to see that as a sign of weakness, so… "
As well as the new W11, Mercedes also had their very first F1 car of the modern era, the 2010 W01, at Silverstone, as the team reflects on a decade in F1 as a full works team. Team Principal Toto Wolff said: "Who would have thought between these cars we would win 12 championships? It’s always good to remind yourself where it all started."
With 2021 and a new era of F1 looming, he insisted that Mercedes are very much focused on winning a seventh constructors' championship this season.
"There’s a group of people concentrating on the 2021 car… but for us here, the race team, it is all about 2020 and making use of the equipment that has been given to the drivers.
"Today success would be that we have a good shakedown, clock the mileage and get the filming in, and both the drivers get a feeling for the car. And then go to Barcelona, that’s the next milestone. It’s really a step by step approach – we are not looking too far ahead," he added.
Will Ferrari or Red Bull stop the Silver Arrows reaching new heights with their respective 2020 challengers, the SF1000 and RB16? Next stop is Barcelona, where all the teams will take part in pre-season testing beginning on February 19.