The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team has released pictures of the car it hopes will propel it to a hat-trick of Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship crowns in 2016, dubbed the F1 W07.
The car will be piloted by reigning champion Lewis Hamilton and two-time championship runner-up Nico Rosberg.
The car features a slightly altered paint scheme and continued sponsorship from its 2015 partners, but it also sports a number of significant aerodynamic changes compared with its ultra-dominant predecessor, the W06.
“While the car may look very similar to its predecessor from the outside – as is inherent within stable regulations – underneath there are quite a lot of mini revolutions that make up an overall evolution for the new season,” Mercedes’ executive technical director Paddy Lowe explained.
“We had a number of races that didn’t go to plan in 2015 – Singapore in particular – so there were a lot of things that needed improving for 2016. We are seeking optimisation absolutely everywhere.”
Keener eyes will notice that the W07 features reworked steering arms designed to condition the air flow at the front of the car, an enlarged airbox that combines the power unit’s main compressor feed, and a significantly undercut rear end to maximise air flow at the rear of the car. The W07 also features a twin wastegate – similar to what has already been seen on Williams’ new FW38 when it was launched.
With last year combining outstanding aerodynamics with what was clearly the best power unit in the field, Mercedes hasn’t stood still on enhacing its turbo-hybrid power units even further, according to its engine chief Andy Cowell.
“Anything which could yield a decent efficiency improvement – and therefore a decent performance improvement – has been explored and we’re now working to make sure our package is sufficiently durable in time for Melbourne,” he explained.
The W07 has already completed a 100-kilometre shakedown at Silverstone during a planned ‘filming day’ and it will take to the track at the opening pre-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on February 22-25.
Images via Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team