Welcome, W11! The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team’s 2020 car hits the track at Silverstone
Full of anticipation for the challenge of the upcoming 2020 F1 season, the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team ran its all-new car for the first time today
· The Mercedes-AMG F1 W11 EQ Performance completed its first laps at the Silverstone International Circuit
· Toto Wolff: “We feel no sense of entitlement to win races or even championships, we know that we need to fight extremely hard for that as we had to in every year.”
· The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team celebrates its tenth anniversary as a modern-day Mercedes works team in 2020
· Please find additional media assets, including Q&As with Toto Wolff, Andy Cowell and James Allison as well as the technical specifications of the new car attached. The assets are also available to download from our media site
· Please find attached the initial computer-generated render images of the Mercedes-AMG F1 W11 EQ Performance
· On-track imagery will be provided throughout the day via media alerts and available to download on our media site
· A media special is available on the Mercedes me media portal:https://media.mercedes-benz.com/w11
· All media assets provided throughout the day will be rights-free for editorial use
Just 75 days after the last race of the 2019 season, the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team took to the track this morning to complete the first laps with the team’s all-new car for the 2020 F1 season. The Mercedes-AMG F1 W11 EQ Performance, as the car is officially known, ran at Silverstone with Valtteri Bottas behind the wheel. Lewis Hamilton is scheduled to drive the 2020 contender in the afternoon.
“2020 will be particularly challenging because there will be teams that will put a lot of focus on 2020 and there will be teams that will start to shift their resources into 2021. Getting that balance right will very important, but that’s not an easy thing to do,” said Toto Wolff. “Our ambition is clear: we want to be competitive in both 2020 and 2021. That is a great challenge, but the greater the challenge, the more we like it.”
Named Mercedes-AMG F1 W11 EQ Performance, the new car proudly carries the “EQ Performance” designation. As part of the strategy of Mercedes-AMG, “EQ Performance” stands for the brand’s future Mercedes-AMG performance hybrid models. The EQ Performance designation places the 2020 Formula One car and its state-of-the-art hybrid Power Unit at the forefront of the future Mercedes-AMG line-up, showcasing how F1 technology is pioneering the future of motor racing and automotive technology in general. “W11” represents the fact that this is the eleventh Mercedes-made Formula One car since the three-pointed star returned to Formula One as a works team in 2010.
The factories were bustling over the winter to develop, manufacture, assemble and test new components and systems for the new car. Over 100,000 parts were checked in inspection with 40,000 components tested in non-destructive testing to make sure they were up to the standards the team requires; over 8,000 drawn parts created and put through the manufacturing and testing process.
“The atmosphere this year is very calm, very focused – we all know that there’s a job to do and results to be delivered in order to meet our own expectations, so we’re working hard to try and prepare in the best way possible,” said Toto. “We feel no sense of entitlement to win races or championships, we know that we need to fight extremely hard for that as we had to in every year. This has been our mindset from the beginning.”
Today’s running constitutes an official 100 km filming day, which the team also uses as a final systems check before the first pre-season test in Barcelona. This initial test and filming day is known as the shakedown and takes place at the 2.98 kilometre Silverstone International Circuit.
Both drivers were eager to get back into the car after their winter break, which included intensive training to prepare for the upcoming season.
“It’s a real privilege for Valtteri and myself to be the only people who get to drive this machine and I’m really looking forward to stretching its legs”, said Lewis Hamilton. “I’ve been in constant communications with the engineers, trying to keep an eye on everything that was happening at the factory. Today is a really exciting day – finally seeing in person what this team has worked towards so hard. As a driver, you’re just itching to get back into the car.”
“The first time I came to the factory this was quite a few weeks ago for a number of meetings with the engineers and we’ve been in touch since then,” said Valtteri Bottas. “It’s been really interesting for me to get more and more involved, learning about all the new features of our weapon for this year’s fight. Developing and building a new car is never straight-forward, it’s a huge effort by every single team member to deliver this year on year. Now things really kick off and I’m very excited to finally get the chance to drive the new car. I’ve been waiting to get back behind the wheel.”
“The shakedown has always been important, but it is particularly precious this year. It’s our last chance to make sure all is well ahead of the first official day of Winter Testing. If all goes well in the shakedown then we will be well placed to roll out the garage at nine o’clock in Barcelona and just start hitting the laps,” said James Allison, Technical Director. “With a shorter winter testing programme, that last ticking everything off at the shakedown is proportionally more important so we are determined to squeeze every drop of goodness from it that we can.”
Stable regulations for the new season
The Mercedes-AMG F1 W11 EQ Performance is an evolution of last year’s contender – the car that won Mercedes its historic sixth consecutive double championship. The team has looked at a myriad of areas to improve the car and has changed the vast majority of the over 10,000 parts of the car to extract more performance. The Mercedes-AMG F1 W11 EQ Performance is expected to become the fastest Mercedes race car ever built.
“The regulations stayed largely the same for the new year, so for us it was all about trying to make sure that we don’t run out of development steam on a package that worked pretty well for us last year,” said James. “We wanted to change aspects of the concept of the car – aspects that would be completely impossible to change within a season – to give us a more fertile platform for the new season. We tried to make a few well-chosen architectural changes to keep the development slope strong even though the regulations are now a little bit longer in the tooth.”
In addition to many detail changes and smaller improvements, the team has introduced three larger changes – one at the front, one at the middle and one at the back of the car.
“At the front we have accepted more structural complexity around the uprights and wheel rims in order to provide a higher performance assembly overall,” said James. “In the middle of the car we have followed the pitlane trend by moving our upper side impact tube to the lower position and banking the aerodynamic gain that comes with this layout. At the rear of the car we have gone for an adventurous suspension layout in order to free up aerodynamic development opportunity. All three investments were improvements in their own right, but their real effect is to mobilize a raft of secondary aerodynamic gains both during the winter and, we hope, across the season to come.”
In 2019, the team brought a significant upgrade to the car after the first week of testing that changed the look of the Melbourne car quite significantly compared to the launch car. This year, the race trim will be much closer to the car that is running at Silverstone today.