The F1 W07 Hybrid had big boots to fill in 2016 as the successor to two extremely successful racing cars – the Formula One World Championship winning Silver Arrows of 2014 and 2015.
With regulations remaining relatively unchanged for the season ahead and the field therefore likely to close up in performance terms, the search for every last fraction of speed became more crucial than ever.
The biggest challenge facing the team during the winter was therefore to find out how to get even more performance out of a Power Unit and chassis design that has already proven to be an extremely potent combination.
While the F1 W07 Hybrid may have looked very similar to its predecessor from the outside, quite a few mini-revolutions had taken place under the covers.
On the mechanical side, the biggest change to the regulations concerned the separation of the exhaust tailpipe and waste gate. But by far the largest structural change was to the chassis.
The zone protecting the driver in the cockpit was raised by 20mm in height, with lateral crash test loads increased from 15 to 50 kN – a significant increase in the effective forces that needed to be absorbed by the chassis.
These detailed improvements to the F1 W07 Hybrid were to pay off by the end of the season. For the third time in a row, the Silver Arrows won both the Drivers’ and the Constructors’ World Championship titles.
Over the course of the 2016 season, World Champion Nico Rosberg and team-mate Lewis Hamilton combined to secure 19 wins (including eight one-two finishes), 33 podiums, 20 pole positions, 121 session best times and 765 points. Between them, the two Silver Arrows drivers led the standings right from the first to the last race.
On its way to achieving #TheTriple, the F1 W07 Hybrid clocked 8,073 laps – equating to a distance of more than 40,500 km – taking in excess of 133,000 corners and changing gear roughly 389,000 times along the way.