SILVERSTONE, England – Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport has debuted the Mercedes-AMG F1 W10 EQ Power+, its newest Formula One entry that will be driven by Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton.
The car made its on-track debut at the Silverstone Int’l Circuit with Bottas and Hamilton taking turns in the new F-1 challenger.
“The 2019 season will be a new challenge for all of us,” said Toto Wolff, Team Principal & CEO. “The regulations have changed quite substantially. We have to start from scratch, we need to prove ourselves again – against our own expectations and against our competitors. We start the season with zero points, so we’re taking nothing for granted and there’s absolutely no feeling of entitlement to be at the front. In fact, with the regulation change for the new season, every team can have a shot at the title and we’re seeing all of them as a potential threat.”
Wednesday’s running constitutes an official 100km filming day, which the team also uses as a final systems check before the first pre-season test in Barcelona.
“We’re eager to hit the ground running in Barcelona, to benchmark ourselves against our own simulations and see if our predictions materialise on track,” said Toto. “We will focus on ourselves, building up performance and hopefully be ready when the first really competitive session starts on Saturday in Melbourne.”
Compared to its predecessor, the Mercedes-AMG F1 W10 EQ Power+ has been changed substantially. The majority of those modifications were driven by the significant changes to the technical regulations for the Formula One season.
“Regulation changes are both opportunity and threat,” said Technical Director James Allison. “They are an opportunity because all the old assumptions about what you need to have to be quick are swept away and, if you are fleet of foot and smart in dealing with that, you can do better than all the other teams that are tackling the same change. They are a threat because if you are not as smart and you didn’t see how to make the most of these new regulations, then you’ll certainly suffer in the coming season. But they are always exhilarating because you have that sharp sense of anxiety that you might not be doing enough but equally the thrill and excitement of looking forward to finding out.”
Despite significant changes to many areas of the car, the W10 also retains some of the characteristics of its predecessors, as the general architecture and the wheelbase stay the same.
“A close inspection will reveal that the execution of this concept has been further refined,” said James. “Every item is pushed tighter, made more slender – each change permitting us to improve the aerodynamic performance beyond what would have been possible had we accepted the physical limitations of the 2018 design.”
While the chassis development was partly driven by regulatory changes, the Power Unit regulations remained largely stable, making the development work more of an evolutionary process in which the team worked hard to achieve two main goals – improving performance and reliability.
“We’ve made changes to the cooling architecture of the Power Unit, which hopefully provide aerodynamic benefit on the car and also provide efficiency benefit on the Power Unit – so, hopefully a win on both the chassis and on the Power Unit,” said Andy Cowell, Managing Director of Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains. “Right at the heart of the Power Unit is the conversion of fuel into heat release in the combustion chamber and useful work out of the crankshaft. We have made steps on the combustion efficiency and on the ERS system. The marriage between the turbocharger assembly with the MGU-H, the inverter, the cells and the MGU-K: that whole system is now capable of operating more efficiently and helping with energy deployment through a race.”