Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W09 launch, Silverstone, 2018

Mercedes uncover their new F1 car for 2018

2018 F1 season

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Mercedes have revealed their new car for the 2018 F1 season.

The Mercedes W09 is the car with which the team hopes to defend the world championship it won in all of the last four seasons. Only one team in Formula One history, Ferrari, has won constructors’ and drivers’ titles in five consecutive years.

The car ran at Silverstone before being officially presented to the media and fans with drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

With the new car Mercedes has attempted to address the weaknesses of its predecessor which helped Ferrari challenge them for victories throughout 2017. While Hamilton won the drivers’ championship Bottas, in his first year with the team, ended the year third, becoming the first Mercedes driver to be beaten by a rival from another team since 2013.

Mercedes said its new car features the same wheelbase as the W08 and runs a “slightly increased” angle of rake in the chassis.

The car features a new M09 power unit, a development of the engine and hybrid system which has proved F1’s most competitive since the current V6 hybrid turbo rules were introduced.

“The amount of change on the power unit for this year is quite considerable and driven by a number of requirements,” said Mercedes managing director Andy Cowell.

“The biggest challenge we’ve got is lifting our durability limit with the challenge of racing just three engines per driver per championship and two ERS systems. That’s a 40% increase in the distance that the hardware needs to do for this year compared with last year. We focussed on trying to increase the life of the hardware without losing performance.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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77 comments on “Mercedes uncover their new F1 car for 2018”

  1. I thought Mercs would change their car this year after all the problems they had with long wheelbase and low rake car.

    1. Can’t really be that much of a problem given they’ve won both the WDC and WCC championships for the past four years. I doubt they’re going to mess with that winning formula.

    2. They could have shortened the wheelbase by 30-60 mm and we surely wouldn’t be able to see it from that picture!

    3. The opposite. If possible this car is longer than last year’s. lengthening a car adds a lot of weight, so you keep increasing the car as long as you can keep it near the weight limit. If tgey increased the rake it simply means this car is quicker than the predecessor therefore it isnt as limited for aero reasons to such a low ride height for the slow portions of the track. The bigger diffuser actually encourage less rake than 2016, the steeper angle can cause air detachment.

      1. Looks like they increased the rake a bit and kept the same wheelbase as per the article.

        Livery is a bit passé but expected. Team based continuity.

        Will be interesting to see if it maintains consistency with the past several years and they managed to overcome the diva personality.

    4. I feel it was widely expected Merc would follow SF and go for the aggressive short wheelbase, but instead it’s SF that adopted the long wheelbase route. Interesting season ahead!

  2. Oh look it’s the same boring livery as every year.

    1. Livery isn’t as bad as halo. Halo doesn’t fit the design at all. So as rear wing.

    2. winning is the boring part.

    3. Its a silver arrow (with a halo) on four wheels. Arrows go fast. They are ugly otherwise.

    4. Boring yes but I quite like the justification for it and it also stays true to the history of the team. If you watch the design video, the livery team were given a maximum weight limit for the paint and decals!

    5. @eljueta I actually find the livery pretty good (I mean, it’s not liek the 2007 Earthdreams livery isn’t it? I love what Honda did in 2008 though)

      1. @davidnotcoulthard It’s not bad, it’s just always the same thing. Looking at pretty cars is also part of F1 :P

      2. Also Earthdreams was friggin awesome!

  3. Don’t the sidepods look like they have a few more features ?

  4. According to PlanetF1 (via Sky sports), the car broke down in the pitlane. And, STR’s first run went “perfect”.

    Oh, the irony.

    1. Reversed grid already ?!!

    2. Maybe honda run their 2017 engine? Is there any confirmation that theu use new angine?

    3. A Caparo T1 may break down on it’s first run but my Toyota Auris won’t. I know which one is faster.

      1. i know you Auris will win the first run ;)

      2. Sure but if I raced in my Ford Focus against a 2017 McLaren Honda driven by Alonso, I am fairly confident that whilst he’d be much faster, I’d win atleast 50% of the time!!

  5. It doesn’t really look any different compared to its predecessor apart from the Halo.

    1. And the stripes. Gotta be worth a couple of tenths.

  6. @keithcollantine Someone has forgotten the on this page…

    1. Oh apparently you can’t put html in a post. Who knew. Well, someone hasn’t closed the italic tag

      1. I wonder if it’s a dig at Mercedes from a Ferrari fan…

        1. You’re going to have to explain that one to me I’m afraid. I’m referring to the fact that all the text on this page, past the “this article will be updated” line, is italic. Because someone forgot to close the italics tag after that sentence.

          1. I thought the post and comments would be in different sections but apparently if you forget an open tag it’s italic until infinity :D

          2. I got your point, and I meant someone might cheekily have left the rest of the page italicized, like in Italy, like in Ferrari.
            Less fun to have to lay it out like that, but I do admit it was a bit oblique to begin with :)

          3. [TR] I needed the explanation; but well done ;)

            PS – no italics for me (MAC/Chrome)

  7. The adrenaline is already beginning to flow ! I don’t know why, but I’m super excited to see the new Ferrari. Hope it will not disappoint since it is theoretically it’s the only car with bright colors so far.

    1. Have you not seen the new mclaren?
      A gust of wind leaked it

      1. It might be a pleasant surprise as well if it will be orange all around.

  8. Part of me feels a bit disappointed that this isn’t a radical departure from the W08. Then another part of me thinks that Mercedes did win both championships comfortably and had the quickest car at the vast majority of tracks, so why would they?

    With the resources they have they will have assessed their concept against the other options which seem to be out there at the moment (the SF70H style sidepods and the RBR high rake concept) and they are obviously comfortable that their solution is the best one for the majority of the circuits on the calendar. I’d be astonished if at least one of the W09’s wasn’t on the front row in Melbourne.

  9. Can anyone please tell them that they are allowed to paint the halo?

  10. Halo aside that is an achingly pretty car.

    1. I’m not a fan of the device, but I think that in the side view it fits in the design, its shape flows following the bright aqua stripes. Front view on the other side is pretty horrible.

  11. Lovely coke bottle shape, almost feminine if you will

    1. Agreed! Look at that taper. the rear end is TINY

    2. It’s been a while since we last saw a older regs type coke bottle. Impressive, honestly I really do think Merc is going to make 2018 its most dominant season in f1 history, and ever. The rules just keep progressing towards their strengths.

      mclaren had a size 0 back in 2015 but it wasnt a typical coke bottle shape.

      1. I think W09 will do the job MP4/4 failed by one race.

        1. With so long seasons, something has to happen (mechanical problems) sooner or later, and there’s very strong drivers around that if given the chance would stop even a dominating car from winning all races, however we’ll see, hopefully it will be closer, it’s since several years that a car is clearly better than 2nd best.

  12. The car looks great and they were not really going to change the livery too much.

    Is that Bottas driving?? I can’t tell.

    1. It is, he’s wearing his new helmet and7 7 is also on the nose and the engine cover…

  13. the Halo seems higher in the Merc than in the other cars.

    1. I doubt there is any flexibility in where/how the can attach the halo to the car.

      I’m surprised though that nobody decided to attach the mirrors to the halo (maybe not allowed either). It would clear the vision a bit for the drivers (with some exceptions in hilly/curvy sections)

    2. @gus maia thought i was the only one that noticed it

    3. It certainly looks higher. I thought the same as well, but realized it seems so only from the front.

      We do not have many side shots of the W09 (unlike others) – Renault, Torro Rosso, etc. Looking at their front views as well, the Halo seems equally high. Put simply, it is butt ugly from the front and indeed resemble a highly starched thong stuck on the car.

      I doubt this in the true iteration of it on the Merc though. I expect to see something a little bit different in Melbourne or the last days of testing.

  14. Wow, there are some huge airbox intakes this year, HALO must have quite the effect on the airflow into it.

    1. Seems to be the same size as last year. Well… most of the car seems to be the same as last year, with the exception of the Halo.

  15. Ew. That’s 2008 levels of horrid appendages. That’s a really ugly car.

  16. Why have they made it into a grey color that becomes black at the back? All the appendages (halo, bargeboards) are made black. And you have those neon stripes awkwardly snaking through the entire structure (while intersecting with each other).

    Have to say, this is the ugliest car so far. Even removing the halo won’t help matters here.

    1. Also, can’t read the number written on the nose as there is no discernible color difference from the rest of the body and the number has gone far too up.

    2. Could not disagree more. The Red Bull has more appendages and the Merc has the most tapered coke bottle ive seen since the 2014 Red Bull or 2015 McLaren (both of which they had to open up because they were too tightly packaged)

      And the gradient to black looks fantastic in that side on shot. Nothing wrong with the stripes either, 4 stripes for 4 championships, theyll probably need 5 next year to annoy you further!

      1. Not to mention yet again, only nose so far without a stupid thumb tip! Gets the best looking car on the grid thus far on that alone.

  17. *yawn*

    as an aside, since i can’t be a**d to find out from the (overwritten)regulations, is there reason everyone has their air intakes and sidepods exactly the same, with the opening at the front and at the top of the cockpit ?

    How about a sleek appendage free thin chassis aall the way to the back with radiators on either side of the gearbox ?

    Just somebody do somethin different, that’s all…

    1. It’s the most aerodynamically efficient shape in terms of minimising drag and generating downforce.

    2. @uneedafinn2win, as noted by MazdaChris, the main reason is that your proposal would be inefficient in terms of packaging and weight distribution, would be inefficient in terms of aerodynamic potential and creates potential issues with clashes with the rear impact crash structure. The regulations would not prevent you from doing that, but there is a good reason why nobody would try doing that – because it would not be competitive.

  18. the term “if isn’t broke, dont fix it” comes to mind.. why drastically change a car thats dominating like the merc is the moment.. wait to see how much others have caught up first before revealing what true things they are bringing to the table..

    1. Well with Ferrari arguably having the better car last year for a better part of the year. If i was Merc i wouldn’t be so confident of more dominance. They really need to step it up if they want to be still ahead of the pack (Ferrari)

  19. Something on that main picture of the article creates the illusion the nose is pointing to the left of the picture and not straight, it’s so weird, and I can’t unsee it.

    1. @dusty It’s the reflection of the pit complex on the left-hand side.

    2. I have the same issue. Looks like it was designed by Owen Wilson…

  20. They look to have been very conservative on the side pods. Either Ferraris approach didn’t work with their current design philosophy or there will be a major update coming along.

    This has been the first time since 2013 I’ve seen an unveiled Mercedes that I haven’t been sure I’m looking at the championship winning car.

    1. Mercedes has their own aero philosophy that has been delivering the desired results year after year. After years of falling short, Ferrari came up with a radical design that suits their concept & it also worked brilliantly. Most of the other teams were lacking in the aerodynamic department, so it seems more likely to me that they would be more keen to copy some of Ferrari’s more obvious & radical elements than to try to figure out the whole of Merc’s package: there’s no obvious “silver bullet” on display there.

    2. @philipgb Really? My impression was the complete opposite. This car and the fact theres only 3 pu’s, I see utter domination.

    3. It’s all relative to others. If others improved more then they’re in trouble. They have a very flexible approach regarding front suspension design. Its characteristics could be revamped thoroughly with much less effort compared to competition. Consequently, this car has a great prospect of maturing performance-wise during the testing. They’ll have a very large play field of possible modifications. Especially if they realize the car is not using tires properly. It’s a very conservative approach and the best one if you ask me. One thing is clear. They are chasing 100% tire use optimization.

  21. Paint the Halo grey!!

  22. From most of the cars so far it seems everyone but mercedes has copied Ferraris lead in that area of aero development.

  23. Soon to become the most hated car in the paddock but l think it looks fantastic and will run the table this season.

  24. Why I see this Merc more bulky and not so sophisticated than last year car .. more boxy not as epic curved-idontknowhowthebuildit badge boards last twoyears

  25. I just wish Mercedes could have thought a bit more about the Halo. It feels as a last minute addition, just adding for the sake of it. The back seems more sculptured (muscular). Not as radical as the Red Bull, in terms of aero.

    1. It’s guaranteed to be missing it’s final fairing. I don’t imagine Mercedes are just plonking it on and to hell with the aero disruption. But at the same time why tip your hand until you need to collect test data?

  26. That’s a car coloured in by a team which wants everyone to notice how fugly the halo is.

    Unless they just haven’t got round to finishing the prettification and just left it looking that way for the launch.

    1. That ‘fugly’ expression has to be adopted officially in dictionaries with halo picture next to it ;-)

  27. Has anyone else noticed that the top picture seems to show that the halo does have a fairing, but it is on the underside of the halo? Am I seeing things?

    1. hmm hard to say, but to me it looks like the reflection from the grey body

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