This is the sleek Silver Arrow the team hopes will win it yet another title.
The new car that Mercedes-Benz hopes will win its team a fifth straight F1 title has been briefly revealed during a shakedown run at the Silverstone race track in Northamptonshire.
The car will officially be launched later today, but Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas headed out in the new racer – called the W09 – at a cold and overcast Silverstone, with Mercedes using one of its two annual filming days to complete a shakedown run. The Finn will carry out a series of laps in the morning before handing over the car to four-time world champion Lewis Hamilton in the afternoon.
Mercedes will officially launch the car with a presentation later on Thursday, but the morning's brief run has given the team's engineers a chance to check that everything works as intended before testing begins in earnest later this week. The four-time world champion team will be the sixth F1 team to launch its 2018 challenger, following Haas, Williams, Red Bull, Sauber and Renault.
The new Mercedes W09 continues the themes of its predecessor and features extremely slim bodywork at the rear of the car as the team seeks to maintain its performance advantage over the rest of the F1 pack. Engine boss Andy Cowell recently hinted that the powertrain package – made up of the 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine and hybrid system – on the 2018 car was producing in the region of 1,000bhp.
Experts at tyre supplier Pirelli have estimated that this year's F1 cars could be up to two seconds quicker than in 2017 as teams boost performance.