Lewis Hamilton got his first chance to drive the new Mercedes car at Silverstone
Mercedes today unveiled their W08 challenger for 2017 at the home of the British Grand Prix after Lewis Hamilton had spent the morning running it round the track at Silverstone.
Valtteri Bottas followed in the afternoon but his new team-mate Hamilton admitted that the weather meant it wasn’t easy for him to judge where the team are.
“It was damp when I was out so I was on the wet tyres initially,” Hamilton said.
Mercedes F1 2017 launch: World Champions officially unveil new W08 car
Thu, February 23, 2017
Mercedes have officially unveiled their new W08 car during a launch presentation at Silverstone ahead of the 2017 F1 season
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Mercedes have officially unveiled their 2017 W08 car
“Because of that, the feeling wasn’t spectacular because it was quite gusty.
“But then we put slicks on and I could drive it a bit more.
“I started pushing a bit and there was so much grip in Stowe because of the massive headwind which is the same as when you’re at the race.
“The car doesn’t feel that much different.
“It feels a little bit wider but because we made sure the seat position and cockpit is very much the same, it felt pretty similar.”
The new regulations are designed to increase the downforce and cornering speed of cars.
Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton will both hope the new Mercedes is as dominant as before
As a result, they have been built wider with fatter tyres and a wider overall machine.
They are also expected to be significantly faster and drivers have spent much of the winter working hard on fitness due to the added force the new machines will exert.
“We didn’t have max power today so I don’t get to unleash it until next week,” Hamilton added.
“Time will tell if I’m physically ready.
“I’ve done it a little bit different this year in the hope that it’s more enjoyable.
“This year I started a little bit later – usually I start in December, and this year it was January.
Lewis Hamilton did get some minimal running on slick tyres at Silverstone
“It doesn’t matter how fit you are or how hard you train, that car beats the c**p out of you.
“There’s no simulation for it whether it’s your neck or a muscle you didn’t even know you had deep down under your ribcage.
“After the first test, you know where you’re weak and you work on those.
“Hopefully, I’m going to get in the car and not have any problems.”