MERC dominated the 2017 Formula One season and indications are that things might be similar in 2018.
The new season comprises 21 races making it the joint, longest season in F1 history.
It starts with the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 25, with two additions compared to last year – the German GP at Hockenheim and the French GP at Paul Ricard.
But the Malaysian GP has been dropped.
Mercedes has meanwhile taken the wraps off its new car, which it describes as ‘the most advanced machine ever conceived by Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport’.
The sleek silver racer basks in a mouthful of a name: Mercedes-AMG F1 W09 EQ Power+.
The “EQ Power+” bit stands for the brand’s future performance hybrid models.
The car shares some of the DNA of its predecessor, with the introduction of Halo cockpit protection and the ban of both monkey seat and high T-wings being the biggest changes.
The design is a tad more elegant.
The teams all have to increase the durability of their engines, with the new rules.
“That’s a 40 per cent increase in the distance that the hardware needs to do,” spokesman Toto Wolff said.
“We focused on trying to increase the life of the hardware without losing performance.”
Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport will use the same driver line-up as in 2017 in Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.
“It has just been a dream experience, working with the greatest team and extending my relationship with Mercedes who I first signed with when I was 13,” Hamilton said.
“The foundation is very strong and now they’re putting the right building bricks in place for the years ahead.”