World champions Mercedes released the first images of the new W07 car on Sunday, which will be driven by Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in the 2016 Formula One season.
The team revealed the new design on their Twitter feed on Sunday:
Mercedes will be hoping the W07 can replicate the results of recent seasons, in which the team have dominated the sport. They were the constructors' champions last season, while Hamilton clinched the drivers’ title—his second in succession—with Rosberg finishing in second.
The car will get its first public outing on Monday, with pre-season testing set to get underway in Barcelona.
Improving on last season’s W06, which won a staggering 16 of the 19 races on the calendar, is going to be a very difficult ask for the team. However, the technical chief Paddy Lowe thinks the new edition has made Mercedes an even more formidable proposition, per Luke Smith of NBC Sports:
After a highly successful season all round in 2015, our priority has been to identify the areas in which we were weakest and to try to improve on those.
Our objective is excellence in all areas and, while we had some fantastic results last year, there are many areas in which we can still be much better. That’s the kind of culture we try to instil throughout the whole organisation—one of constantly striving to reach something better.
Rosberg, who finished the 2015 season with three wins in a row, has already had a chance to drive the vehicle, posting the following on-board clip on his Twitter feed earlier this week:
Nico Rosberg @nico_rosberg
was a great feeling out there today. driving our new silver arrow for the first time. come with me onboard #WeAreW07 https://t.co/oYFQV6dcTR2016-2-19 19:05:27
The most striking feature of the W07 compared to the 2015 model is the larger airbox. Aside from that, there are minimal differences to the W06, with only slight refinements made to the front of the vehicle and the bodywork toward the rear.
According to Laurence Edmonson of ESPN.co.uk, the car already totted up 98.2 kilometres at the filming day earlier in the week.
It’s no great surprise to see Mercedes haven’t deviated too much from such a successful design. Hamilton and Rosberg have both been the men to beat in recent seasons, and given the chasm between them and the rest of the teams has been so large, it would have been unexpected had the designers gone for any drastic alterations.
Constant evolution is key to staying ahead, though, which is something Lowe touched upon. Given the reliability and pace of their cars in the last two campaigns, it’d be a massive surprise to see anything but encouraging signs from the W07 when it takes to the Barcelona circuit this week.