Mercedes-AMG F1 pulled the wraps off its new “F1 W12 E Performance” racer on Tuesday morning during an online-only reveal that featured Formula 1 Team Principal and CEO Toto Wolff, as well as team racing drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.
The W12 heads into the 2021 racing season not only as an eight-time consecutive championship winner, but also as the favorite to propel either of its drivers to yet another drivers’ and constructors’ world championship. Of course, out of the two, it’s seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton who’s the man to beat in 2021—and it’s safe to say that doing so will prove very difficult for the rest of the field despite new regulations across the paddock.
“Every year we reset our focus and define the right objectives,” said Wolff during the reveal. “That may sound simple but it’s damn hard and is probably why there are no sports teams out there with seven consecutive titles.”
“I see the same fire, hunger and passion now as I did the first time I walked through the doors in 2013. Every season presents a new challenge and therefore, a new goal for us to achieve. 2021 brings changes to the regulations, which could impact our competitiveness, plus the cost cap and working on the major rule changes of 2022,” added Wolff.
The successor to the W11, which won a staggering 13 out of 17 races in 2020, will retain the sleek-looking black livery for 2021 as the team aims to solidify its stance against racism, promoting diversity within its own walls and across motorsports in general. However, this year’s livery differs as it reveals a dark shade of silver toward the rear end, as well as AMG logos and a dash of red over the top intake to represent its Ineos sponsor.
Both Hamilton and Bottas traveled to the team’s headquarters in Brackley for the unveil, a place where neither of them had visited since last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The launch day of a new car is always a really exciting one,” said Hamilton during the reveal. “It’s great to reveal to the world the result of everyone’s hard work at the factories and to see some of my team-mates in person, which has been so rare during the past year. I’ve been in touch with the engineers through the winter, keeping track of their preparations as I prepare myself for the season ahead.”
It will be interesting to see the team’s dynamic in 2021, especially considering this is Bottas’ make-it or break-it year with the all-star squad, and Hamilton will be racing under a one-year contract only. Will the gloves finally come off? I surely hope so.
The new W12 will hit the track during pre-season testing in Bahrain March 12 through 14. The season is set to start also in Bahrain a couple of weeks later on March 26.
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