The World Champions Mercedes have released sneak-peek photos of their 2017 challenger, that will be driver by Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.
The images reveal a potentially wilder colour scheme. Lewis Hamilton had this to say on the new Mercedes F1 car:
“I’ve seen it in the wind tunnel, I’ve watched it’s progress from basically a baby to what it is today. I mean it looks like a boat, it’s so big, it’s so much bigger than before, it’s wider, longer.
From the cockpit back to the axle, there’s so much material… it’s a lot different.”
– Lewis Hamilton
His new teammate Valtteri Bottas has joined from Williams, and already has his eyes on the big prize. He said,
“If the car is the strongest, yes [I can fight for the title]. I’m not here to be in second place or worse. It is definitely a challenge, and going up against Lewis is always going to be a challenge.
But for me, it’s a massive opportunity. Everything is still ahead, so it’s going to be an exciting year.”
– Valtteri Bottas
The Finn is the perceived underdog in the pre-season build-up, but remains untested against the likes of Lewis Hamilton in equal machinery. Pre-season testing might shed some light on the running order ahead of the Australian Grand Prix, and it’s difficult to see Mercedes yet again being anything but a frontrunner for the upcoming season, regardless of the technical regulation change.
The other cars that have been released so far look very aggressive though:
Toto Wolff, who has penned a deal that keeps him at Mercedes until 2020 believes that an aggressive approach to their design could see them fighting for wins from the off.
“We have set aggressive targets for where we think the car should be, should be going to, and also the engine. We are pushing flat out to achieve those targets, but will those targets be enough, or will other teams come out of the blocks better than we do? We don’t know.”
– Toto Wolff
Whatever the gaps between teams are at the start of the season are expected to remain fairly static for the opening half of the season, so getting out of the blocks first will have huge connotations on the title fight.