Mercedes launch Hamilton and Russell's championship-contender, the W13
Reigning world champions Mercedes have revealed the car that Lewis Hamilton and George Russell will drive in this season's championship – the W13 – which is built to sweeping new technical rules.
Mercedes have won the constructors’ title for eight successive seasons, but they relinquished the drivers’ championship as Max Verstappen snatched the crown from Hamilton on the final lap of the 2021 season.
Mercedes junior Russell has been promoted to a race seat, replacing Valtteri Bottas after three impressive seasons at Williams, peaking with his first F1 podium in Belgium last year.
"It just takes you back to being a kid," said Hamilton at the launch. "I think it’s always exciting watching, I mean with this new era of car, we’ve never seen such a drastic change, right?
"So it’s such a huge change in so many ways, that it’s just been really interesting seeing the designers and everyone coming together to find the best ways of creating a masterpiece."
Russell added: “It feels incredible, obviously Lewis and I have driven so many laps in the simulator of this. We’ve seen all the drawings, we’ve had so many meetings and presentations about it, but suddenly seeing it all come together, seeing all of the men and women who have put so much hard work and grit into making this, and coming together here, I think it looks incredible.
“And I think the silver [coming] back, we’ve had an incredible livery with the black in the past couple of years – but the silver back on track I think is going to look incredible."
The W13 will hit the track for the first time later on Friday, when Mercedes complete the first of their two permitted filming days at Silverstone.
Hamilton and Russell will share driving duties, with running limited to 100km.
Hamilton explained: "We have no idea how it’s going to handle; we have driven laps in the simulator, but making sure that we make the right correlation, that’s why – I think George is out first today – I think I’ll be after him!"
The car will then travel to Barcelona for three days of pre-season running next week, to be followed by official pre-season testing in Bahrain next month, ahead of the first race of the season at the same venue.