In Depth

F1: Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas shake down the Mercedes W11 - pictures and video

The Silver Arrows’s new machine hits the track at Silverstone

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton is ready to take his performances to “another level” as he bids to equal Michael Schumacher’s record of seven Formula 1 world titles. 

The Silver Arrows, who are also aiming for a seventh successive constructors’ championship, today fully unveiled their challenger for the 2020 season.

W11 for short, the new car is officially known as the Mercedes-AMG F1 W11 EQ Performance. 

Along with team-mate Valtteri Bottas, six-time world champion Hamilton drove the W11 for the first time in a shakedown at the Silverstone International Circuit.

On his and the team’s ambitions for the new season, British driver Hamilton said: “I’ve had the best winter training yet. Over the winter, I’ve really been trying to analyse where we were last year and how I can grow and improve as a driver and as a human being. 

“Having great consistency is going to be key for all of us - not just in terms of our reliability, but also for us as drivers.

“This team works so hard to give us this incredible machine, but if we put a foot wrong out there, it costs all of us, so that’s something I’ve really been trying to focus on - how can I take it to another level as a driver, how can I extract more from myself and from the team, and trying to deliver something really great this year. 

“This is my eighth year with this team and this year’s challenge is super exciting. I have no doubt every single team member will try to raise the bar within themselves and I’ll be trying to do the same.”

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Huge effort

Finnish star Bottas, who finished second in the 2019 drivers’ standings, was first to give the W11 a whirl round the track at Silverstone. 

“The first time I came to the factory was quite a few weeks ago for a number of meetings with the engineers and we’ve been in touch since then,” said Bottas. 

“It’s been really interesting for me to get more and more involved, learning about all the new features of our weapon for this year’s fight. 

“Developing and building a new car is never straight-forward, it’s a huge effort by every single team member to deliver this year on year. 

“Now things really kick off and I’m very excited to finally get the chance to drive the new car. I’ve been waiting to get back behind the wheel.”

Wolff likes a challenge 

Despite Mercedes’s dominance in recent years, team principal Toto Wolff knows that the new season will be a huge challenge as they battle against Ferrari and Red Bull in the two championships.

Wolff said: “2020 will be particularly challenging because there will be teams that will put a lot of focus on 2020 and there will be teams that will start to shift their resources into 2021. Getting that balance right will be very important, but that’s not an easy thing to do

“Our ambition is clear: we want to be competitive in both 2020 and 2021. That is a great challenge, but the greater the challenge, the more we like it.”

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