SILVERSTONE, U.K -- Mercedes' 2018 car, the W09, has broken cover for the first time.
The car is being launched at the Silverstone circuit today, with Valtteri Bottas driving the car in the morning before handing over to reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton for the afternoon. In the morning, the car rolled out of the garage with Bottas at the wheel, only to be rolled back in straight away without completing a lap. The same sequence occurred again about 30 minutes later. Later in the morning, the car completed its first laps of the season.
As Red Bull did on Monday, Mercedes is using one of its two allocated filming days to accompany the launch. F1 rules allow a team 100km of running per day.
Mercedes hopes the W09 can continue the team's dominance of the V6 turbo hybrid era. The team has won the last four drivers' and constructors' championships. If it wins a fifth t will match the record set by Ferrari at the start of the 2000s.
The new car is a clear evolution of last year's W08, although the rear of the car is even more tightly packaged than before. The raised front suspension, which featured just the Mercedes and Toro Rosso last season but has already been copied by Sauber this year, remains, as does the team's distinct slim nose.
The team officially unveiled the car later in the day, before Hamilton took over driving duties from Bottas.