First image of Mercedes’ W09

Date published: February 22 2018

Mercedes’ W09 has broken cover a little earlier than planned with a photograph of the new car leaked on social media.

Just a day after Toro Rosso’s STR13 was unveiled through a leaked photo, Mercedes’s W09 has greeted the world in a similar fashion.

The new car, which will be officially unveiled at 12:10GMT at Silverstone, features a tweaked livery and the controversial Halo.

Unfortunately for Mercedes, Sky Sports are reporting that the car didn’t get very far on its first run, breaking down in the pit lane.

Mercedes are conducting a day of filming during the unveil meaning they can cover a maximum of 100kms.

‘Red Bull, Ferrari may make a play for Hamilton’

Date published: February 22 2018

Nigel Mansell says Red Bull or Ferrari may do “something special” to sign Lewis Hamilton, however, at the end of it all he expects the Brit will remain with Mercedes.

Hamilton joined Mercedes in 2013 and has won three Drivers’ Championships with the Brackley squad.

But with just 12 months left to run on his current contract, his future has yet to be decided.

Hamilton is in talks with Mercedes about an extension but Mansell reckons if they don’t wrap that up soon, Red Bull or Ferrari may make a play for the driver.

He told Press Association: “I would be very surprised if Lewis did not sign a new deal with Mercedes but if Red Bull or Ferrari were to do something special over the winter by making the jump over Mercedes, and then offer Lewis Hamilton an incredible deal, who knows?.

“At the moment however, Lewis has the world at his feet, he is in the best car and at the best team, so why would you want to change it?

“Some people in their careers are very privileged to be in a strong position and Lewis is one of those because he can afford to be patient.

“When the time is right for him, he will sign on the dotted line.”

Bottas reveals fan-designed helmet

Date published: February 22 2018

Valtteri Bottas has taken the covers – or best to the say the tape – off his new 2018 helmet, which was designed by a fan.

Bottas ran a competition to design his 2018 helmet with over 1,500 entries submitted.

The winning entry is a blue-white-and-black design by Andy Werner with an asymmetrical colour scheme on either said.

“I really like the colours and it is quite different to any other suggestions for the design,” Bottas said.

“What I really liked about it is that it is different from left to right with the colours and it looks fast. That is always important.

“It is not symmetrical and I hadn’t seen that very much before with other helmet designs. 

“It is a new season and I wanted a new helmet, so hopefully I will carry this kind of helmet for the rest of my career.”

Bottas ‘never noticed’ Halo during race sim

Date published: February 19 2018

Valtteri Bottas had no issues related to Halo during a recent race simulation in which the cockpit protection device was fitted to his W09.

Ahead of the 2018 F1 season – the first with Halo – Bottas has been in action in Mercedes simulator at their Brackley headquarters.

The Finn revealed that he covered a full race simulation with Halo and found that he adjusted to it very quickly.

“In the simulator I’ve done a race simulation already with the Halo, and I have to say during the race I never noticed it anymore,” he explained in the latest episode of Motorsport.tv’s The Flying Lap.

“Once you get used to it it’s there and you get used to it, I think that’s going to be the same for the spectators.”

The Mercedes driver added: “Initially, it’s something new, it looks different – some people say it’s not nice at all.

“But I think it’s only a matter of time everyone will get used to it, and if it can avoid even one injury – big or small – it’s a good device.”

Bottas: I have what it takes to beat Hamilton

Date published: February 18 2018

Valtteri Bottas has said he will do “anything it takes” to beat Lewis Hamilton and become World Champion in 2018.

The Finn finished third in his first season with the Silver Arrows and picked up his first three victories of his career during the 2017 campaign.

But Bottas also struggled for form as well, and believes that more consistency will allow him to be a major title threat.

“For sure he is one of the best drivers ever in Formula 1, a four-time world champion who’s always on it, but I proved to myself a few times last year that I can do it and I can beat him,” Bottas told ESPN.

“It’s up to me to be performing well consistently all through the year, not having those kinds of race weekends when I’m a couple of tenths off or something.

“I need to be in all conditions – no matter what track, which temperature and which tarmac – I need to be there.”

Bottas is willing to do anything to become a World Champion, but does not feel he needs to become a disruptive influence on the team in order to do well.

“I think everyone knows that,” he added. “For sure every driver wants to be world champion, but I am so hungry for it. I’m ready to do anything it takes.”

“Normally my style is not to mess with other people’s things.

“I tend to focus on my performance and getting the most out of myself and the team around me.

“I’m not planning to change anything of what I do.

“I believe if I perform consistently from race one then for sure we can have a bit more of a challenge with Lewis on track.

“Even though something would change, I can’t see any issues of why we wouldn’t be able to work together in the team.

“I just tend not to deal with that stuff. I just want to focus on my performance and that will hopefully get me further.

“Even though the harmony is there, I don’t see that it is making Lewis a better driver. I think he’s always on it.”

Mercedes wary of ‘serious’ McLaren, Renault threat

Date published: February 18 2018

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is not taking anything for granted ahead of the new season and named McLaren and Renault among their potential main rivals.

Many are expecting a big improvement from the Woking team now that they have changed engine suppliers from Honda to Renault, while a more sustained challenge from Ferrari and Red Bull is also expected.

And, despite being the four-time double World Champions, there is no room for complacency at the Silver Arrows.

“This is the pinnacle of motor racing you need to respect every team and the top drivers,” Wolff told Motorsport.com.

“We are taking Ferrari, we are taking Red Bull, we are taking McLaren, we are taking Renault seriously. These guys can fight for a championship and some others might be surprising us.

“I want to remain humble and expect competition from all of these teams and if we are able to align the dots like we have done in the last year then we will be winning races and then we will be fighting for championships and if we don’t then we haven’t been good enough.”

Wolff then singled out Ferrari for their progress in the 2017 season and, while he is happy with how Mercedes responded to the threat, he knows that will not be the last they see of them.

“How the car performed on track was exceptional and the step they made over the winter was probably the biggest step of all the teams,” Wolff added about Ferrari.

“I am happy that we kept it together. We have a record of 11 race victories versus the five of Ferrari and the stopwatch never lies.

“Having said that we need to stay both feet on the ground. Ferrari could have won more races. We’re taking them very seriously as a real contender [for 2018] like we do with the other teams.”

Bottas: No interest in Triple Crown bid

Date published: February 15 2018

Valtteri Bottas has ruled out following in Fernando Alonso’s footsteps and competing in other series such as the Indy 500 and Le Mans alongside Formula 1.

The Mercedes man is fighting for another contract with the Silver Arrows this year after been given another 12-month extension.

And while he has no issues with Alonso going off to race on Formula 1’s off-weekends, he cannot see himself doing the same.

“If he feels he has the time and energy for that, it’s no issue,” Bottas told Ilta Sanomat newspaper.

“Maybe he likes to try new things because he’s been in Formula 1 for a long time.

“But at this point I don’t think I would like to start mixing other series with the Formula 1 season. I’d rather focus fully on Formula 1.”

Bottas is also sceptical about the plans to continue to extend the race calendar, which has already crept up to 21 events this season.

“We have 21 races now but 25 is definitely the upper limit,” Bottas said.

“It’s going to be difficult on the logistics side to do that. There are the people to think about and costs will also get a lot higher if the teams have to get more people in.”