The Mercedes AMG F1 team will unveil its 2017 challenger next month

The hugely successful Mercedes F1 team has just announced the date of its F1 2017 car launch. The new car, which should be called the W08, will be unveiled at Silverstone in the UK on Februaru 23rd. And although Mercedes has won the last three championships, things could be very different in 2017.

The Mercedes AMG F1 team will unveil its 2017 challenger next month

Next season’s rules will make the car vastly different, with an increased focus on aerodynamic performance as well as mechanical grip. Rear tyres will be up from 325 to 405mm, while front tyres will be increasing in size from 245 to 305mm – an increase of roughly 25% in both cases.

At the same time, cars will have wider bodies and wings, giving designers a larger surface area than before to generate downforce, and also giving cars increased stability through medium- and high-speed corners.


Rule changes

Mercedes may have won everything for the past three years, but big rule changes tend to reset the standings, and shake up the constructors’ rank. After all, Mercedes benefitted from the last rule change in 2014, and Brawn GP from the change in 2009.

Mercedes will show off its new challenger at the launch event, but it will also carry out some “shakedown” laps. Unlike normal testing, which is carried out for both reliability and performance, a shakedown is about making sure everything in the car works. The real testing will begin on February 27th when the team will begin their program in Barcelona. 

Alongside the new rules, the Mercedes will have an altered driver lineup, too. Three-time world champion Lewis Hamilton will be returning, but he’s going to have a new teammate in 2017. Current rumours strongly suggest the British driver will be joined by Valtteri Bottas, who currently drives for Williams.

We’ll be writing about Formula 1’s new rules in more detail soon, and we’ll also have more about – what Mercedes hopes – could be the fastest car of 2017.

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