Overnight Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport unveiled the W08, the car they hope can take them to another Formula 1 Championship. The new car was launched without the fanfare of others, there were no lights, no music, just an interactive 360 live stream on the team’s website.
This year, you’ll see the M08 with EQ Power+ which is code for their fourth iteration of the Turbo Hybrid generation of Power Units. The name EQ stands for “Electric Intelligence” and is derived from the Mercedes-Benz brand values of “Emotion and Intelligence”. EQ aims to make electric mobility simple, comfortable, safe and accessible for everybody.
The new W08 features electric blue waves running from the front wing to trailing edge of the sidepods. This distinctive signature derives from the electro-look of the Concept EQ unveiled last year.
The new car is so dramatically different than previous models (thanks to rule changes) its effectively a reset and past performance doesn’t equal future success. The drivers and car will have to withstand significantly increased physical loads, thanks to increased grip and faster lap speeds. Another massive change for Mercedes is a driver swap, introducing Valtteri Botas after 2016 World Champion Nico Roseberg shocked the sport with his resignation.
If you missed the launch, you can watch the 360 event on your desktop, on your mobile or immerse yourself in VR.
Head of Motorsport at Mercedes, Toto Wolff said,
“The new rules for 2017 were designed to make the fastest F1 cars ever through a big increase in aerodynamic performance. They should be more physical to drive and hopefully more spectacular for the fans to watch. The proof will come in the opening races but we have probably achieved that target.
Of course, in terms of relative performance, it’s clear that any rule change brings with it a big reset but also a big opportunity. This is the time to stay humble and keep our feet on the ground. None of the teams has raced under these rules and we all have the same points right now: zero.
But the dominant feeling in the team right now is one of excitement – the factory is buzzing with anticipation. It has been a really motivating challenge to develop a brand new car concept and I have never seen our determination to succeed higher than it is right now.
This year, in-season development will play a big role in determining the championship outcome. None of us know where we will stand at the first race but I am confident that, whatever that position is, we have the people and the capability to deal with every challenge that comes our way. This will be the season where our full works team can show its true strength.”
The 2017 cars are very different that last year and the FIA have a great video on the new rules and regulations.