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Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas Help Launch New W09 for 2018

The AMG Mercedes Petronas Formula 1 team launched its new defender, the W09, Thursday morning (Feb. 22) at the Silverstone International Circuit in Northamptonshire, England.

Unlike most of the 2018 F1 car launches so far, the team not only made a presentation of its car, but also did so with the assistance of drivers Valtteri Bottas and defending world champion Lewis Hamilton, who took the car out for a demonstration run.

Since the hybrid era began in 2014, the team has dominated the race scene, and if the team has another winning package, it could tie Ferrari’s winning streak of world championships set back in the 2000s.

The car itself is a carbon copy of the team’s predecessor, the W08, but with a tighter package in the back. The nose in the front of the car remains the same as well, but the engine is changed, with the new powerplant being named EW Power.

Toto Wolff, team manager at Mercedes, told Autoweek that though the car has a chance of making history, there are still some challengers that could give the squad a run for the championship this season.

“We’ve tried to stay true to our design philosophy and develop an already solid base.” he added. ” We hope we have kept the good character traits of the diva. We all like divas, but sometimes she was a bit difficult to understand, and this is an area where we worked the most, trying to understand and preserve the speed in the car and find more drivability.”

Hamilton scored nine wins and 13 podium finishes in 2017 en route to the championship, while Bottas added three wins and 13 podiums.

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