Mercedes launched its 2018 Formula 1 challenger, the W09, at Silverstone on Thursday. Defending champion Lewis Hamilton and team-mate Valtteri Bottas will pilot the car for 2018. George Russell will be in reserve. Updated: Pascal Wehrlein will also be Mercedes’ reserve driver this season, alongside his DTM duties.
Toto Wolff, Mercedes team principal, explained, “The main difference between [the W09 and the W08] is in the detail. You can’t point at one thing, but what is visible is how narrow and tight the packaging is. You can’t copy other cars – we try to keep our own design philosophy.”
Mercedes’ 2017 challenger was dubbed the ‘diva’ due to its difficult characteristics, particularly when it came to set-up. “We hope that we keep the good character traits of the ‘diva’, we all like divas. But she was difficult to understand, so with the W09 we try to find more speed and more drivability,” said Wolff.