Mercedes W09 revealed ahead of 2018 F1 season

Ultimately it is hard to single out one area as the key basis around which the whole vehicle is designed and it could well be that both teams cherry pick ideas from the other.

"We tried (the halo) previous year a few times and it's not a big difference". Obvious changes include the addition of the Halo cockpit safety device and the omission of the shark fin cover and T-wing to meet the new regulations.

Hamilton has been conducting his own negotiations with the team and said last November, after winning his fourth championship in Mexico, that he expected the talks to be straightforward.

The new vehicle is a clear evolution of last year's W08, although the rear of the auto is even more tightly packaged than before.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has joked that he would remove Formula One's new halo head protection system with a chainsaw, given the chance. "I'll just be thinking about performing on track and making the most of our auto every weekend".

Mercedes still won over half of last year's races, 12 of 20, and boast an astonishing 80 per cent win rate in the current engine era.

"I hope they don't get much heavier, but I think next year the seat and driver can be 80 kilos".

Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton plans to be more "strategic" on social media after provoking outrage for chastising his nephew for wearing a princess dress. The new F1 auto has been named the Mercedes-AMG F1 W09 EQ Power+ and is an evolution of the 2017 W08 that won 12 races and 15 pole positions throughout the last season.

"As a driver you feel really special to be able to drive that machine", said Valtteri Bottas. The former Williams driver ended the season in third behind Hamilton and Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, trailing the Briton by 58 points.

Ferrari unveiled its auto on the same day as Mercedes.

"Sometimes things that look obvious to the outside observer are actually small aspects and things that really make the difference are far more hidden on the vehicle". One of the biggest criticisms has centred around how it looks on top an F1 auto.

"Hopefully we'll have something done before the start of the first race, ' said the 33-year-old, who is chasing Juan Manuel Fangio's mark of five titles".

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Präsentation, F1 W09 EQ Power+.

McLaren also hopes to challenge Mercedes this year, though how well the team will rebound from its disastrous Honda partnership is uncertain.

  • Arturo Norris