Mercedes has unveiled its 2019 car — the W10 — featuring an updated livery as it carried out a shakedown at Silverstone.
The new car ran at the home of the British Grand Prix on Wednesday as part of a promotional day, with teams limited to 100km (62 miles) on special Pirelli tires. After the W10 successfully completed its first laps with Valtteri Bottas at the wheel, Mercedes released images of the car tasked with defending both the drivers’ and constructors’ championships this year.
While there are new aerodynamic regulations to contend with, Mercedes says “the general architecture and the wheelbase stay the same” as the W09, with technical director James Allison highlighting an evolutionary approach.
“A close inspection will reveal that the execution of this concept has been further refined,” Allison said. “Every item is pushed tighter, made more slender — each change permitting us to improve the aerodynamic performance beyond what would have been possible had we accepted the physical limitations of the 2018 design.”
And Allison says the W10 is also designed to be more efficient with its use of tires, something that wasn’t always a Mercedes strength in 2018.
“The handling of the W09 was a big improvement over the rather idiosyncratic W08. We managed to be competitive at tracks which had plagued us in recent years. However, notwithstanding this improvement, we were still not as good as some of our competitors at preserving the performance of the rear tires.
“We have worked hard on the suspension and aerodynamic characteristics to deliver a car that will be much kinder to its tires — enough, we hope, to allow us to be competitive at all phases of the race and at each track on the calendar.
“Even though the minimum weight limit was lifted by 10kg for 2019, weight reduction remains a real challenge on the current generation of F1 cars. Components that we felt were stripped to the bone in 2018 have been taken, one by one, and subjected to a further round of aggressive analysis to shave further weight from them.
“Some components surrender what feels like a giant step of half a kilo, others just a few grams, but collectively each of these victories add up to a handful of kilos that have been invested back in the car on aerodynamics, suspension and power unit to bring performance.”
Lewis Hamilton will also shake the car down on Wednesday afternoon, with Red Bull due to carry out a similar shakedown at Silverstone at the same time.