Mercedes have unveiled the car they hope will power them to a record-extending eighth consecutive World Championship double in 2021, after pulling the covers off the new W12.
The Silver Arrows have dominated in Formula 1 since the switch to turbo-hybrid engines in 2014, picking up every constructors’ and drivers’ championship since that year, when they ended Red Bull’s four-year winning streak.
And the Brackley-based team are aiming to extend that remarkable run with the car they revealed on Tuesday morning, which is officially called the Mercedes-AMG F1 W12 E Performance.
The new car carries over much of its technology from last season’s W11 – which won 13 of 17 races – after F1’s big regulation change was delayed until 2022 after the Covid-19 pandemic struck. Nonetheless there are some key changes on the car, notably the trimmed floor, as required by the tweaked rules for the coming season.
The team ran last year’s car in a special black livery, which they switched to before the delayed season started, as a show of support for diversity and a stand against racism and discrimination everywhere – a cause that Lewis Hamilton particularly embraced throughout the season.
And they have retained the black colour scheme for 2021, with a fade to silver towards the rear, and a dash of red in deference to sponsor and now team shareholder Ineos.
Hamilton will once again be at the wheel for Mercedes after signing a new-one-year contract in January, making it his eighth year with the squad since his switch from McLaren in 2013. The Brit picked up his seventh drivers’ title last year to equal Michael Schumacher’s tally, and will be hoping the W12 can help him take the record outright in 2021.
He will again be joined by Valtteri Bottas, who goes into his fifth year with the team aiming to finally topple his super-quick team mate and claim the title for himself.
Ex-McLaren racer Stoffel Vandoorne will continue in his reserve driver role, alongside his Mercedes team-mate in Formula E, Nyck de Vries.
The new car will hit the track for pre-season testing on March 12-14th, ahead of the season opening Bahrain Grand Prix two weeks later.