Mercedes’ 2018 Formula 1 World Championship challenger, dubbed the W09 EQ Power+, was shown off to the media at Silverstone on Thursday, with drivers Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton giving the new car some preliminary shakedown running.

Sporting a virtually unchanged livery scheme, the W09 outwardly appears to be an aggressive approach to apply the lessons learned of its sometimes inconsistent W08 predecessor.

The W09 retains a long wheelbase and the controversial ‘shark fin’, while the front wing design, floor and sidepods (seemingly inspired by Ferrari’s 2017 profile) are significantly different.

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 W09 launch

The W09 had a ‘trouble-free’ shakedown run during Mercedes’ filming day at Silverstone.

Mercedes confirmed it expects to announce a new contract extension for Lewis Hamilton in the coming days. The Brackley team also used the launch to announce that former Sauber driver Pascal Wehrlein will dovetail his DTM commitments by serving as the team’s reserve driver for 2018, alongside GP3 Series champion George Russell.

Mercedes is the sixth team to present its 2018 Formula 1 season car, following launches by Haas, Williams, Red Bull Racing, Alfa Romeo Sauber and Renault. Ferrari will unveil its car later on Thursday, followed by McLaren’s launch on Friday. Toro Rosso and Force India will show off their cars on the morning of the first pre-season test in Barcelona, although an image of the former’s Honda-powered STR13 has already been leaked on social media.

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.