Mercedes’ 2019 car makes initial runs at Silverstone

Mercedes’ 2019 car makes initial runs at Silverstone

Mercedes' 2019 challenger, the Mercedes-AMG F1 W10 EQ Power+. Picture credit: Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport’s 2019 challenger, the Mercedes-AMG F1 W10 EQ Power+ car, completed the first laps at the Silverstone International Circuit on Wednesday. 

Finn Valtteri Bottas took to the wheel first and world champion Lewis Hamilton drove it later. 

"The 2019 season will be a new challenge for all of us," said Toto Wolff, Team Principal & CEO. 

"The regulations have changed quite substantially. We have to start from scratch. We need to prove ourselves again, against our own expectations and against our competitors. We start the season with zero points. So we're taking nothing for granted and there's absolutely no feeling of entitlement to be at the front. In fact, with the regulation change for the new season, every team can have a shot at the title and we're seeing all of them as a potential threat."

Compared to its predecessor, the Mercedes-AMG F1 W10 EQ Power+ has been changed substantially. The majority of those modifications were driven by the significant changes to the Technical Regulations for the 2019 Formula One season.

"Regulation changes are both opportunity and threat," said Technical Director James Allison. "They are an opportunity because all the old assumptions about what you need to have to be quick are swept away and, if you are fleet of foot and smart in dealing with that, you can do better than all the other teams that are tackling the same change.

“They are a threat because if you are not as smart and you didn't see how to make the most of these new regulations, then you'll certainly suffer in the coming season. But they are always exhilarating because you have that sharp sense of anxiety that you might not be doing enough but equally the thrill and excitement of looking forward to finding out."

While the chassis development was partly driven by regulatory changes, the Power Unit regulations remained largely stable, making the development work more of an evolutionary process in which the team worked hard to achieve two main goals - improving performance and reliability.

"We've made changes to the cooling architecture of the Power Unit, which hopefully provide aerodynamic benefit on the car and also provide efficiency benefit on the Power Unit. So, hopefully a win on both the chassis and on the Power Unit," said Andy Cowell, Managing Director of Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains.

"Right at the heart of the Power Unit is the conversion of fuel into heat release in the combustion chamber and useful work out of the crankshaft. We have made steps on the combustion efficiency and on the ERS system. The marriage between the turbocharger assembly with the MGU-H, the inverter, the cells and the MGU-K: that whole system is now capable of operating more efficiently and helping with energy deployment through a race."

Hamilton said: “2018 was a great year, but I feel like 2019 can be even better. I want to achieve more and want to keep pushing. I feel energised and I'm ready to attack.”

Bottas said: “I'm full of energy and I'm looking forward to the new season.”