We’re just two weeks away from the first car launch. In a winter break that seems never-ending, Mercedes ‘fired’ the first shot. A short teaser was posted on Mercedes’ official YouTube channel that will surely bring F1 aficionados out of hibernation.
Mercedes tease W11 launch
In the 30 second clip, the W11 can be heard being fired up for the first time. It was spine-tingling, to say the least, and created a mixed feeling. I felt content and petrified at the same time. Content at the fact that Formula one was back and petrified at the thought of Mercedes annihilating the competition yet again.
Mercedes have outclassed, outraced and out strategized every other team in F1 since the beginning of the turbo-hybrid era. Such is the domination, that Mercedes have won close to 74% of all F1 races held since 2014. The team is gunning for a seventh consecutive championship in 2020.
Mercedes will unveil its 2020 car at Silverstone on February 14. Lewis Hamilton’s love affair with the Silver Arrow will continue for another year. However, the brit will be out of contract at the end of 2020. News from the rumor mill suggests a contract extension is on the cards.
Mercedes are heading into 2020 firmly in the drivers’ seat, but Toto Wolff thinks this year could be harder. Wolff believes there is a greater threat from teams like McLaren and Redbull. This is due to the fact that F1 regulations will remain stable in 2020.
Speaking to F1, Wolff said: “We have always defended the standpoint that by [leaving] the regulations alone, performance convergence would happen – at least there’s a high probability that convergence happens rather than throwing the dice and introducing something new, and I think we have seen that.”
“McLaren have massively caught up, probably the steepest performance slope of all teams and will be there or thereabouts, in my opinion,”
“So, yeah, I see this very much as being a much tougher season.”
We’ve all heard this before. Toto Wolff playing the underdog card-only to destroy the competition. Don’t be surprised if Mercedes aren’t quickest in pre-season testing. Come race day in Melbourne, the sandbags are off.
F1 car launches will begin on February 11 with Ferrari unveiling its 2020 challenger. Winter testing begins on February 19.