Mercedes have launched their brand new W12 car for the 2021 season that they hope can lead to an incredible eighth double world championship in a row.
The Silver Arrows have dominated the sport since 2014, winning the drivers’ and constructors’ championship every season since .
Lewis Hamilton has taken the drivers’ title in all but the 2016 campaign during that period, when he was pipped by team-mate Nico Rosberg, as he hopes to secure a record eight world championship in 2021.
Mercedes have launched their new W12 car they hope can lead them to more glory in 2021
Lewis Hamilton, pictured for the launch, will hope to secure a record eighth F1 world title
Having also won a title with McLaren in 2008, the Brit is level on seven world championships along with Michael Schumacher having equalled the legendary German’s tally last year.
The sport’s all-conquering team have carried over their predominantly black livery from last season which was encouraged by Hamilton’s promotion of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement to raise awareness in the fight against racism.
Although the car retains a similar look from the all conquering W11, it has been updated with a flick of silver to the rear of the engine cover near the rear wing to represent the team’s traditional colours.
Mercedes have retained a black livery introduced last season to raise anti-racism awareness
However, a touch of the team’s traditional silver colours has been added to the rear of the car
Valtteri Bottas will once again be Hamilton’s team-mate for the fifth season in a row
Hamilton, who last month signed only a one-year extension, will be partnered by Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes for a fifth season.
‘The launch day of a new car is always a really exciting one,’ said Hamilton ahead of his 15th season.
‘It’s great to reveal to the world the result of everyone’s hard work at the factories and to see some of my team-mates in person, which has been so rare during the past year.
‘I’ve been in touch with the engineers through the winter, keeping track of their preparations as I prepare myself for the season ahead. The excitement has been building and building, so now I just can’t wait to get out on track in the W12.’
Speaking on his one-year deal, the Brit admitted he had not ruled out staying at the team for longer if the 36-year-old wished to continue next term and beyond.
‘I have achieved most of the stuff I wanted to so there is no real need to plan too far into the future, he added. ‘We are living in an unusual time and I just wanted one year. We can talk about if we want to do more and keep adding it by one if we have to.’
While the car itself features little change from its all conquering W11 predecessor, it does have a ‘trimmed floor’ and ‘aerodynamic tweaks’ that technical director James Alisson admitted he was not prepared to show at the launch to keep rivals such as Red Bull and Ferrari on their toes ahead of pre-season testing.
Mercedes are targeting an eighth consecutive double world championship this season
The touch of silver to the rear is the real notable change to the livery from the 2020 car (above)
Hamilton will once again be hoping to see off Bottas while gunning for the world championship
Alisson also claimed that changes to the side pod of the car may help improve the overall performance of the power unit for this season.
Testing for the new season gets under way in Bahrain a week on Friday before Hamilton opens his bid for an unprecedented eighth championship in the Gulf Kingdom a fortnight later.
With only minor tweaks to rules and regulations from last season, Mercedes will once again be favourites to win both world championships before a big shake up in 2022.
Despite their long held dominance though, team boss Toto Wolff has called on his team not to be complacent heading into the season.
‘Every winter, there are always indications that someone else might have done a better job, so we must keep pushing.
Hamilton is the reigning world champion after taking his record equalling seventh championship at last season’s Turkish Grand Prix
However team boss Toto Wolff has called on his team not to get complacent this season
‘That scepticism and hunger drive us and get us fired up for every new season – because the scoreboard goes to zero and there’s always more performance to be found.’
Following Rosberg’s shock retirement after winning the world championship in 2016, Hamilton will once again be paired with Valtteri Bottas which Wolff admits has proven beneficial to the team’s overall output since the Finn’s arrival from Williams in 2017.
‘The consistency we’ve had within this team over the years has been a real strength and advantage.
‘As we’ve seen in past seasons, it’s a line-up that works well for us, with two incredibly strong drivers who also have a very professional working relationship together.
‘Both are hungry and fired up to get back racing again soon and we’re all looking forward to seeing them drive our new car in anger for the first time in a few weeks.’