The Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One team has this evening revealed their challenger for the 2021 season.
The new W12 is the first car to use the ‘E PERFORMANCE’ designation, signifying a closer alignment to the Mercedes-AMG performance division in the future.
As the team looks to carry on the success of the 2020 season, the W12 will be piloted by seven time World Champion, Sir Lewis Hamilton, and his Finnish teammate Valtteri Bottas – marking the fifth consecutive season the pair have battled it out on the grid side by side.
The team’s closer cooperation with AMG is also reflected in the new 2021 livery, with AMG branding replacing the star pattern on the engine cover which now fades to Mercedes’ traditional racing silver from the black base livery introduced in 2020.
The most prominent colour remains the iconic green of Title Partner PETRONAS on the front and rear wings, nose, mirrors and halo, with the parallel green and silver stripes on the flanks of the car symbolising more than a decade of partnership between Mercedes and PETRONAS.
The visual identity is completed by the burgundy of team shareholder and Principal Partner INEOS, which features on the airbox and the inside of the front wing endplates. The result is a striking and distinctive look for the season ahead.
This season also marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the team following the announcement late last year that Toto, Daimler and INEOS will be one-third, equal shareholders.
Speaking about the launch of the W12, Toto Wolff said:
“The fact that we were able to attract INEOS as an investor shows that we have a strong business case and that F1 continues to be a highly attractive platform for big brands and companies.
“We’re also seeing a slight shift in the way that F1 teams operate as the cost cap and the new structure move us towards a business model that is more familiar in American sports franchises.
“At the same time, having three strong shareholders in the team gives us even more stability for the future.
“On a personal level, I’m very happy to commit to the team for the long term and increase my share slightly. I’ve always said that this team is like a family to me, and I’m incredibly proud of what we have achieved together.”
The biggest technical challenge on the 2021 F1 cars has been adapting to the new aerodynamic regulations, with the introduction of several significant changes to key performance areas on the car.
“If you’re looking to slow a car down, which is effectively what the regulation changes were intended to do, modifying the floor is by far the easiest and cheapest way of achieving your objective,” said James Allison.
“The floor is such an important aerodynamic component that small geometrical changes bring large reductions in performance. Once the rules had been established, our task was to figure out how to recover the losses brought by the changes.”
Speaking about taking to the grid for his 17th season, Lewis Hamilton said:
“The launch day of a new car is always a really exciting one,” said Lewis. “It’s great to reveal to the world the result of everyone’s hard work at the factories and to see some of my team-mates in person, which has been so rare during the past year.
“I’ve been in touch with the engineers through the winter, keeping track of their preparations as I prepare myself for the season ahead. The excitement has been building and building, so now I just can’t wait to get out on track in the W12.”
Heading into his fifth season with Mercedes, Valtteri Bottas said:
“Obviously we haven’t been able to visit the factory much in the past year, so firstly, I’m really happy to be back here and to see the new car in person for the first time.
“I’ve been getting regular updates on how things are progressing, so it’s nice to now be able to see the end result in the flesh and that just gets me more fired up for the new season.
“The cars are pretty similar to last year but there are some interesting aero changes that will have an impact on how the car handles and performs, so I’m looking forward to seeing how it feels on track in Bahrain.”