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Mercedes formally launch championship defender W08

Mercedes have formally launched the W08 EQ Power+ at Silverstone following a filming session on Thursday morning.

Lewis Hamilton ran a series of filming laps before completing a shakedown of the new car. Valtteri Bottas is due to do the same in the afternoon.

“The new rules for 2017 were designed to make the fastest F1 cars ever through a big increase in aerodynamic performance,” said Toto Wolff.

“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.”

The car as yet does not feature a shark fin, although Mercedes are expected to test one in Barcelona.

The current world champions are the fourth team to unveil their 2017 car. Sauber, Renault and Force India have already launched their cars this week. Williams have released rendered images of their new car.

Bottas joins the team for 2017 from Williams to replace the retired world champion Nico Rosberg.

“It’s a new chapter in my career, a new team, new regulations… new everything!” Bottas said.

“I’ve been waiting for a long time to get this car out on track and, although this is just a Filming Day, I’m looking forward to starting to test properly next week in Barcelona and to really understand the car that we’ve been given by everybody in Brixworth and Brackley.

“It has been a busy winter for me since signing with Mercedes and we have tried to make the most of the time we have had.

“We’ve been going day by day, making the most of each one, spending a lot of time in Brackley and going through as much stuff as possible with the engineers.

“In terms of my physical preparation, I think I have done the most amount of training of any winter so far. I have done some good training camps and feel in the best shape I’ve ever been, definitely ready for the season ahead.”

Mercedes also announced their driver line-up for the first pre-season test in Barcelona. Bottas will drive Monday and Wednesday morning and Tuesday and Thursday afternoon.

Hamilton will drive Tuesday and Thursday morning and Monday and Wednesday afternoon.

About Chris Stevens

Chris is one of the graduates of a new blogging era of journalism. Moving from that to fully blown websites, covering Formula One and Formula E, has seen him become an FIA accredited journalist. He also podcasts with various websites and recently was accepted onto the Autosport junior programme.

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