• 1

    New Mercedes W11 Hits the Track For the First Time!

The Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team’s new 2020 car, the W11, debuted on track for the first time at Silverstone…

Just 75 days after the final 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,” said Toto Wolff.

“Getting that balance right will very important, but that’s not an easy thing to do. 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. 

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 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 we need to fight extremely hard for that; as we had to in every year. This has been our mindset from the beginning.”

“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.”