World champions Mercedes set date for shakedown of new F1 car
It’s the car that every other team in the F1 paddock will be measuring themselves against throughout winter testing – and it’s been announced that Mercedes’ 2019 challenger, the W10, will be unveiled for the first time on February 13.
The car – the Mercedes-AMG F1 W10 EQ Power+ to give it its full name – will have its first shakedown test on that date, before hitting the track in anger in the hands of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas the following week when official pre-season testing begins in Spain at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on February 17.
The first sighting of the W10 will follow a similar Mercedes pattern from the last few years, with the car taking its first laps around Silverstone – although this time the team have decided to make the shakedown a ‘closed doors’ event rather than allowing the media to watch. The Silverstone running will count as one of Mercedes’ two permitted ‘promotional events’ for the year, meaning the W10 can do a maximum of 100km on the day and must wear demonstration-spec tyres.
If there’s one car in the field with a weight of expectation on its shoulders this season, it’s this one, with Mercedes gunning for a sixth consecutive constructors’ title in 2019, to match Ferrari’s record-breaking run from the beginning of the millennium.
And while Bottas will be hoping the 2019 Mercedes can carry him to his first victory since the 2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Hamilton will be aiming to steer his own W10 to a sixth drivers' championship this year, to put himself one title short of the great Michael Schumacher’s record.
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Meanwhile, Toro Rosso are set to be the first team to launch their new car with an event planned for February 11, followed by Renault a day later, while Racing Point will present their livery and new identity on the same day as Mercedes' shakedown.
McLaren have opted for a Valentine’s Day reveal, a day ahead of Ferrari and four days before pre-season testing begins.
Sauber, meanwhile, have announced that they will wait until the morning of the first day of testing to officially pull the covers off their 2019 challenger in the Barcelona pit lane.
2019 F1 CAR LAUNCH DATES
|Toro Rosso||Feb 11||Online|
|Renault||Feb 12||Enstone, UK|
|Racing Point||Feb 13||Toronto, Canada|
|Mercedes (shakedown)||Feb 13||Silverstone, UK|
|Sauber||Feb 18||Barcelona, Spain|
*More to follow as they are confirmed