The 2017 season marked a major shift in the direction of F1's aerodynamic regulations. Alongside wider tyres and continued engine improvements, the cars were the fastest they have ever been in the sport's history. And they're set to get even quicker in 2018.
Tweaks to the aero rules, the introduction of the Halo, softer tyres, the reduction to three engines per driver and the relentless nature of F1 development has kept the team very busy over the last few months - but work on the new Mercedes-AMG F1 W09 EQ Power+ started before its predecessor had even broken cover.
"Formula One teams are always managing two things at once," explains Technical Director James Allison. "They are pursuing a Championship with a car that was conceived well over a year before. And at the same time as they're racing, they're busy trying to dream up the next one. So the new car has been on the drawing board since before January 2017."
This prompted a fair few challenges along the way. James adds: "We were in a proper Championship fight last year - a fight that for most of the season looked like it was going to go down to the last race.