Here it is, then, the new for 2021 Mercedes-AMG F1 W12 E Performance, the car the German giant hopes will take the team’s eighth constructors’ and drivers’ title double in a row.
Launched at the team’s headquarters in Brackley, a flash of silver is back on a Silver Arrow, this time along the top of the engine cover while the car largely remains black. Mercedes adopted a black livery on the W11 2020 F1 car ahead of the season opener in Austria, a “statement that we stand against racism and discrimination in all forms”. There’s a bit more Petronas turquoise than there was in 2020, too, this time on the front wing, and a touch more Ineos red.
As for the car itself, the Mercedes launch is the first to offer a proper look at a new car, with technical director James Allison on hand to talk viewers of the reveal live stream though the car (Red Bull released just two pictures, AlphaTauri a handful more, Alfa Romeo hid the car behind some dancers and smoke, and McLaren didn’t have the car on hand for the reveal at all). That being said, some of the floor, just ahead of the rear wheels, was shrouded, in Allison’s words because the team knows the competition will be watching. “We don’t have to show it yet, so we won’t,” he said.
As for the drivers, both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas are back. Bottas will be gunning for his first championship, having joined the team from Williams in 2017. Hamilton, meanwhile, enters his ninth year with the squad, and will be aiming for his seventh championship with the team and his eighth drivers’ title overall, which would be a new all-time record.