New silver Formula 1 cars are coming out thick and fast, with Mercedes releasing the first images of F1W06 Hybrid, the car it hopes will propel it to a successful defence of the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship crowns it won last year.

Both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg were given the opportunity to perform shakedown runs in the new car at a chilly Silverstone circuit before the team packed up its equipment and headed to Spain for the opening pre-season test which kicks off on Sunday.

While the car won’t have its official launch until Sunday morning, the team took to social media with a selection of teaser videos before releasing a handful of pictures to the press and fans.

Mercedes F1W06 Hybrid

The new Mercedes F1W06 Hybrid

Outwardly, the car bears a number of similarities to its predecessor – no great surprise given how dominant the car was last year – but the F1W06 Hybrid does sport a number of differences.

It has followed the modified nose design rules (keeping the pronounced horns on the nose assembly), as well as made refinements to the car’s sidepods, engine cover and rear end packaging.

The car also features a slightly tweaked livery, with a darker grey hue on the engine cover. The team also picked up a new sponsor in the form of Japanese printing firm Epson, which was a rather unexpected announcement given the company’s past F1 associations (with Tyrrell and BAR) have traditionally been with Honda-powered cars; a deal with McLaren might have been the more logical route.

The company will become an Official Team Partner providing its expertise in printers, projectors, scanners and “wearable technology”, and will also be seen on the new Mercedes F1 cars, on the helmet visors and race suits of the drivers.

Images via Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.