Mercedes have launched the car on which their hopes of maintaining their unprecedented sequence of Formula 1 success in 2020 rest. The first images of W11, decked out in the revised livery which was first revealed earlier this week, were revealed online ahead of the car’s track debut later on Friday at Silverstone. Six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton and team-mate Valtteri Bottas are each driving the car. Mercedes have won all 12 of F1’s world titles – six drivers’ and six constructors’ crowns – since the current hybrid turbo engines were introduced to F1 in 2014.
Having beaten Ferrari’s record of five successive title doubles last year, the search for another clean sweep is therefore the Brackley squad’s obvious target for the first season of the new decade. As an extra incentive, no team has ever won seven constructors’ championships in succession. The personal target for Hamilton is equally momentous: equalling Michael Schumacher’s all-time record of seven drivers’ titles. While he can tie F1’s championship record in 2020, he can overhaul two of Schumacher’s other historic achievements – the most race wins and most podium finishes. Hamilton starts 2020 just seven race wins behind the German’s haul of 91, and four podium finishes adrift of the record 155. The 35-year-old has won at least nine races in each of the past six seasons. Bottas joins Hamilton in Mercedes line-up for a fourth season and will aim to build on his strongest campaign of F1 in 2019, when he won four times and finished runner-up in the championship.