Mercedes unveil car for F1 title defence in 2020

Written by on 14/02/2020

Mercedes have launched the car on which their hopes of maintaining their unprecedented sequence of Formula 1 success in 2020 rest.

The first images of W11, decked out in the revised livery which was first revealed earlier this week, were revealed online ahead of the car’s track debut later on Friday at Silverstone.

Sky Sports were then given exclusive pit-lane access to the new car in the flesh, as drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas plus team boss Toto Wolff checked it out ahead of its maiden run.

“It’s such an amazing moment in the year when you see a car come together. You see the team all refreshed and everyone excited to see the car run for the first time,” Hamilton told Craig Slater.

“It’s always a new piece of art – the guys have worked on this for so long. It’s an evolution of last year’s car but there’s all these small details that perhaps you won’t get to see which are beneath the hood, you might say, and I’m one of two that gets to go and experience it.”

Mercedes have won all 12 of F1’s world titles – six drivers’ and six constructors’ crowns – since the current hybrid turbo engines were introduced to F1 in 2014. But last year’s W10 did possess some flaws, while perennial rivals Ferrari and Red Bull are pushing to dethrone them this year.

“It is an evolution and not a revolution, we optimised the whole package,” explained Wolff.

“Everything is a bit more neat, everything is a bit optimised. We tried to cure our weakness from last year. Cooling was a bit of an issue and what we see today is an outcome. The car is definitely a step in the right direction.”

Technical boss James Allison admitted: “The regulations being so similar means that we actually have to be quite bold if we want the car to be competitive.”

Hamilton and Mercedes’ searches for seven…

Having beaten Ferrari’s record of five successive title doubles last year, the search for another clean sweep is therefore the Brackley squad’s obvious target for the first season of the new decade.

As an extra incentive, no team has ever won seven constructors’ championships in succession.

The personal target for Hamilton is equally momentous: equalling Michael Schumacher’s all-time record of seven drivers’ titles.

While he can tie F1’s championship benchmark in 2020, he can overhaul two of Schumacher’s other historic achievements – the most race wins and most podium finishes.

Hamilton starts 2020 just seven race wins behind the German’s haul of 91, and four podium finishes adrift of the record 155. The 35-year-old has won at least nine races in each of the past six seasons.

Bottas joins Hamilton in Mercedes’ line-up for a fourth season and will aim to build on his strongest campaign of F1 in 2019, when he won four times and finished runner-up in the championship.

Watch Testing live on Sky Sports F1

Formula 1’s new 2020 cars will be put through their paces for the first time in Barcelona later this month – and Sky Sports F1 will be there too with live coverage of all six days of winter testing.

Building on the successful collaboration between Sky Sports and Formula 1 in 2019, live coverage will be expanded to cover both weeks of testing for the first time and will feature all eight hours of track running each day at the Circuit de Catalunya.

The day’s action will be followed by the essential review show – The Story So Far – featuring interviews, guests, and analysis from the Sky F1 team as we build up to what promises to be a thrilling F1 2020.

Test One takes place from Wednesday February 19-Friday February 21, with Test Two following on a week later on February 26-28.

The sessions run from 8am to 12pm and then 1pm to 5pm UK time. The Story So Far will air for an hour from 5pm.

Watch all six days of F1 Testing live on Sky Sports F1 – for the very first time. Test One begins on February 19, with eight hours of daily track coverage underway from 8am. Subscribe to F1 on Sky Sports here.

(c) Sky Sports 2020: Mercedes unveil car for F1 title defence in 2020

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