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Mercedes' W15 hits the track at a wet Silverstone with Hamilton and Russell at the wheel

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Mercedes unveiled their 2024 car, the W15, on Wednesday before taking it for a few shakedown laps of the Silverstone circuit. Both drivers and Team Principal Toto Wolff were in attendance to witness the W15 work its way around a soaking wet track on a typically grey February day.

Fortunately, warmer climates beckon with the car next set to run at pre-season testing in Bahrain next week. There, the team will have three days to test out their 2024 concept, gather crucial aero data and start to see whether they’ve built a car capable of challenging for the title.

TECH ANALYSIS: The major changes Mercedes have made with their W15 in a bid to catch Red Bull

Sporting a black and silver livery, the W15 has kept faith with the wider sidepods that were a feature of its radical new concept that was unveiled midway through last season. But given that 2023 was a compromise with the team hampered by a tub that belonged to the previous concept, 2024 should mark a departure from those two difficult years as the team begins to build for the future.

"A big focus has been on improving the previous car’s unpredictable rear axle, which the drivers often referred to as spiteful," said Technical Director James Allison. "We have worked on that to try and create a car that is reassuring to the drivers.

"At the beginning of a corner when you're hard on the brakes and turning in, the rear needs to feel rock solid. And then as you get towards the apex, the car needs to feel progressively more nimble, and eager, to turn. We have been trying to build that into the car.

"We’ve also worked hard to create a less draggy car, and to add performance in the corners."

Silverstone was also where Aston Martin shook down their car on Monday, while McLaren did likewise on Wednesday. George Russell was then seen heading out on full wet weather tyres for his first laps in the W15 in the afternoon.

READ MORE: Hamilton 'mega-motivated' as he prepares for final season with Mercedes

The teams are allowed to run their cars for filming purposes prior to pre-season testing, with the rules changing to allow up to 200km to be completed. But while they can gather some limited data, the majority of their learnings will come from pre-season testing at the Bahrain International Circuit.

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