Mercedes unveil car for Lewis Hamilton’s eighth F1 title bid

Philip Duncan
ISTANBUL, TURKEY - NOVEMBER 15: Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrates winning a 7th F1 World Drivers Championship on the podium during the F1 Grand Prix of Turkey at Intercity Istanbul Park on November 15, 2020 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes celebrates winning a 7th F1 World Drivers Championship on the podium during the Grand Prix of Turkey at Intercity Istanbul Park on November 15, 2020 in Turkey.

Mercedes have unveiled the car Sir Lewis Hamilton hopes will take him to a record-breaking eighth Formula One world championship.

The sport’s all-conquering team have carried over their anti-racism black paint job from last season, updated with a flick of silver to represent the constructors’ traditional colours.

Hamilton, 36, is this year bidding to move one title clear of Michael Schumacher in what could be the British driver’s final campaign in F1.

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Hamilton, who last month signed only a one-year extension, will be partnered by Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes for a fifth season.

Regarding his new deal, Hamilton said: “I am in the fortunate position where I have achieved most of the stuff that I wanted to achieve up to this point. So there is no real need to plan too far into the future.

“We are living in an unusual period of time, so I just wanted one year, then we can talk about if we do more, and keep adding it by one if we have to.

“In the past it was just about winning world championships. Last year, there was a lot of discussion about equality, inclusion and there was a lot of talk.

“This year, it is all about pushing for diversity and really making sure that action is taken. That is at the core of the drive for me, but we exist to win and that is what we are working towards and it is also my goal to deliver that.”

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Testing for the new season gets under way in Bahrain a week on Friday before Hamilton opens his bid for an unprecedented eighth championship in the Gulf Kingdom a fortnight later.

With few changes to the rulebook over the winter, Hamilton’s Mercedes team will start as the favourites to complete a remarkable eighth drivers’ and constructors’ double.

Team principal Toto Wolff said: “Every winter, there are always indications that someone else might have done a better job, so we must keep pushing.

“That scepticism and hunger drive us and get us fired up for every new season – because the scoreboard goes to zero and there’s always more performance to be found.”

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On his driver pairing, the Austrian added: “The consistency we’ve had within this team over the years has been a real strength and advantage.

“As we’ve seen in past seasons, it’s a line-up that works well for us, with two incredibly strong drivers who also have a very professional working relationship together.

“Both are hungry and fired up to get back racing again soon and we’re all looking forward to seeing them drive our new car in anger for the first time in a few weeks.”