Mercedes, the reigning world champion F1 team, which launches its W09 contender on 22 February, is understood to have filmed the video of the first fire-up of its 2018 engine last week and released it in the last couple of days.

Team principal Toto Wolff was in attendance, along with technical chief James Allison. The team's engine boss, Andy Cowell, recently told that the Mercedes engine for 2018 is 'pretty much all new', firing a shot across the bows of rival teams, who can only keep their fingers crossed for reliability issues. 

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Wolff has joined calls for louder engines in the next ruleset in 2021, saying it’s an 'essential' part of the sport.

The FIA has already opened talks with car makers about plans for new engine rules after 2020, with the sport committed to running the current turbo hybrid V6s until then.

One of the biggest complaints from fans about the new engines that were introduced in 2014 is that they are not loud enough, and it's an issue that has even prompted support for a return to V8s in the future. For Wolff, a move to old engine technology in the future is not something he is keen to see, but he does acknowledge that making F1 cars sound louder is something that that the sport should try to make happen.

'Why do people say "rev the engine and go, go go"?' said Wolff. 'With everything going hybrid on the road, going efficient, and going autonomous, watching racing cars is still an audio-visual exercise. You can see the cars going fast, but the sound is very important. It gives us the perception of power and speed.

'I think maybe with the current generation of engines we have forgotten to take care about this point. Having said that, I don't think it is completely bad. But with 2020, when we do the new engines, quality of sound should be an essential part. It is very important.'

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Gallery: Mercedes F1