With only a little over a month to go until the first race of the 2018 FIA Formula One season, the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport team is busy carrying out tests of its 2018 racing car in Barcelona, Spain. Designated the F1 W09 EQ Power+, it is said to be improved in every area over its predecessor and will become the fastest Mercedes Formula 1 car in history.

As the most advanced machine ever conceived by Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, the 2018 car aims to write its own chapter in that long racing heritage while at the same time pushing the technological boundaries of motorsport.

As part of the naming strategy of Mercedes-AMG, ‘EQ Power+’ stands for the brand’s future performance hybrid models. The Formula 1 team is proud to have led the way that was followed by the Mercedes-AMG Project ONE showcar revealed in Frankfurt last year. The EQ Power+ designation places the F1 car and its state-of-the-art hybrid power unit at the forefront of the future Mercedes-AMG line-up, showcasing how F1 technology is accelerating the future of motor racing and automotive technology in general.

Since the team’s engineers and designers started working on the new car, nearly 7,000 drawn parts have been created, with over 40,000 components have been through non-destructive testing inspection. In total, 3,150 Saturday morning breakfasts have been served in the team’s on-site restaurant…

Last year’s Championships don’t impact preparation for the season: every team member knows that the points reset to zero for 2018 – and that even greater challenges await in 2018.

“We are trying to stay humble and just keep doing the fundamental work we have always done,” explained Andy Cowell, MD of Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains. “There is no secret formula to what we do. It is plain, honest engineering work. If there’s an idea of how to reduce friction or improve combustion efficiency, we discuss it in our forum in a very forthright way. The sources of all ideas are human creativity, passion and enthusiasm.”

The all-new F1 W09 EQ Power+ shares some of the DNA of its predecessor. The aerodynamic regulations remain largely stable for the 2018 season, with the introduction of the Halo and the ban of both monkey seat and high T-wings being the biggest changes. So the team chose to follow a similar design philosophy, aimed at developing the many strengths of the 2017 car and improving its weaker areas.

HALO protective structure is now installed over the cockpit. The picture on the right shows what the driver’s view looks like in the 2018 racing cars.

The new car stays true to the general design principles of its championship-winning predecessor, retaining the same wheelbase and running slightly increased rake. However, working with a well-understood set of regulations meant the team could push the design to greater extremes in every area.

The new power unit has been developed to meet substantial changes in the Sporting Regulations for the 2018 season. The reduction in the number of power unit components that can be used per driver per season without incurring grid penalties meant that durability had to be extended to withstand the higher distances the hardware now has to run.

In addition to the changes coming from the new Sporting Regulations, the team sought to improve the power unit in other areas as well. the packaging of the power unit had to benefit overall car performance, while the best overall integration in the chassis, the transmission and the aerodynamic surfaces was pursued.

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport will race with the same driver line-up that won a total of 668 points last year, winning the Constructors’ Championship by 146 points. The expectations for the new season are predictably high. Lewis Hamilton will start his sixth season with the team in 2018. His record with the team is impressive and includes 4 Constructors’ and 3 Drivers’ Championships as well as 41 race wins.

[Chips Yap]

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