After launching its 2020 livery on a show car earlier this week, the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team took to the track at Silverstone on Friday 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 this morning, with world champion Lewis Hamilton taking over in the afternoon.
Today’s shakedown constituted an official 100 km filming day, which the team also uses as a final systems check before the first pre-season test in Barcelona.
“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 technical director James Allison.
“With a shorter winter testing program, 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.”
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 is meant to place the F1 car and its 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 F1 car since the three-pointed star returned to grand prix racing as a works team in 2010.
“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 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.”
As part of the car launch information, Mercedes confirmed Formula E driver Stoffel Vandoorne will also be one of two F1 reserves for the team this year, with the former McLaren driver sharing the role with Esteban Gutierrez.