Reigning world champions Mercedes have unveiled the first images of its 2021 contender, the W12, with which the Brackley squad will defend its Constructors’ title in Formula 1.

Mercedes, which will formally present its 2021 team later today, has retained the base black livery that it introduced last year in the wake of its anti-racism message.

However, contrary to its predecessor, the new car engine cover no longer features a constellation of three-point stars but includes the visible presence of its AMG brand.

The W12’s design, which will be entrusted once again to Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, is obviously based on last year’s W11 as teams were forced to carry over their 2020 chassis while implementing a series of aero changes mandated by this season’s regulations.

But Mercedes tech boss James Allison has yet to reveal where the team has spent its two development tokens.

News emerged over the winter that Mercedes HPP engine unit department in Brixworth had encountered a few problems with the German manufacturer’s latest power unit development. However, engine boss Hywel Thomas said that plans had been put in place to solve all of the new unit’s issues.

“Our 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. And that’s exciting,” said Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff who has remained at the helm of the championship winning team.

The W12 will complete its first laps on the opening day of pre-season testing in Bahrain, on Friday 12 March.

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