Mercedes W08 (2017) pictures

The Mercedes W08 had a lot to live up to heading into the 2017 F1 season. Its three immediate predecessors had won the constructors’ world championship and taken Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg to a trio of drivers’ titles.

The team went into the campaign facing new threats to its previous dominance. Rosberg had stunned Mercedes by announcing his retirement a few days after winning the world championship. Top engineer Paddy Lowe also stepped down, though the team soon announced another big-name hiring for its technical team in the shape of James Allison.

While they retained the strength of their peerless V6 hybrid turbo power unit, a shake-up in the aerodynamic regulations for the new season threatened to at least erode some of their advantage. Wider cars with enlarged aerodynamic areas plus much larger tyres meant a rethink of the designs which had won 51 of the previous 59 races.

Due to the increase in downforce generated by the new regulations, Mercedes project that 2017 cars will spend approximately 10% more of each racing lap on full throttle when compared to 2016.

According to Mercedes, the W08 completed over 2,000 runs in the team’s 60 percent-scale wind tunnel in Brackley prior to its shakedown. Only 17% of the components from the world champions’ newest challenger were carried over from the team’s dominant 2016 car.

Mercedes W08 launch pictures

Mercedes W08 first test pictures

Mercedes W08 Australian Grand Prix pictures

Mercedes W08 Spanish Grand Prix pictures

Mercedes introduced a series of upgrades to their car at the Spanish Grand Prix including a thinner nose with scooped aerodynamic flicks on either side and revised bargeboards. This was also the first race where cars were required to display larger graphics illustrating their drivers’ names and numbers.