It happens every year. The nervousness is so dense in the hallway of the Brackley factory of Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Motorsport that you can almost see it rise through thin air. It happens every February, in the beginning of the month. It is the day the new engine is fired up. So hear the Mercedes-AMG W 09 EQ POWER+ getting fired up.
All team gathers up in the hallway. Mechanics, engineers, executives, drivers. They are all required to wear ear plugs. You don’t just fire up an engine indoor without them. Executive Toto Wolff is the only one who smiles. He knows his team well, he knows what they’ve been up to. It’s his fifth season with Mercedes, so he’s been through this time and time again.
The other perform the final checkings. They make the last settings. They wear doctor-robes and plumber gloves. The car is plugged and everybody waits. Once the roar of the engine is heard, they start cheering and clapping. Everyone smiles now. A new baby is brought into the world: the W 09 EQ POWER racing car is ready to hit the racetrack. And it’s got so much to live up two.
Toto Wolff said last year’s car was some kind of a diva. What will the Mercedes-AMG W 09 EQ POWER+ be like?
“Some of the character traits from a diva, we like”, he says. “The W08 was the fastest car in Formula One, it scored the most pole positions and won the most races. So, you need to be careful not to dump the things that actually work on the car, just to remedy the difficulties the car showed. We analyzed it properly and when we go testing, we will see if the car is a little bit better behaved or not.”
Mercedes got four Constructors’ title championships and four Drivers’ title championship in the last four years. So the squad is bound to keep up with all the trophies they have been bringing to Brackley. The Formula 1 racing team will show the car for the 2018 season on February, 22nd. Until then, just a first milestone was passed. So many more to come.
Formula 1 resumes in March with the Australian Grand Prix. Test will be run in the end of February and the beginning of March in Barcelona.
*Photo: Last year’s Mercedes-AMG W08 racing car.