The Mercedes in which Lewis Hamilton will compete for the eighth driver’s title has kept the team’s black anti-racist livery second season.
The new Mercedes W12 is an upgrade of last year’s car, which dominated the season with 13 wins in 17 races.
Team boss Toto Wolff said the team was determined to succeed as always, despite a record series of seven consecutive world title pairs.
“Every year we reset the focus and define the right goals,” he said.
“It may sound simple, but it’s damn hard and it’s probably why there aren’t sports teams there with seven consecutive titles. So many things can happen and it’s very natural to get used to success and therefore not fight so much for it.
“But this team didn’t show any of that. Now I see the same fire, hunger and passion as the first time I went through the door in 2013.
“Every season is a new challenge, and therefore a new goal that we have to achieve.”
Hamilton, who was declared a knight at the New Year’s celebration, said the car’s color scheme reflects his broader goals, which now go beyond mere success on the track.
“In the past it was about winning the championship. Last year there was a lot of talk about equality, and this year everyone is advocating for diversity and ensuring that something is done,” he said.
“But of course we exist to win and that’s what all these guys and girls do [in the factory] work on. And my goal is to make it happen. “
Hamilton extended his Mercedes contract last month for a year until the end of this season.
He said: “I am in a happy position where I have achieved most of the things I wanted to achieve so far, so there is no real need to plan too much in advance,” he added.
“We live in an unusual time and I’ve only wanted it for a year, and we can talk about whether we want to do more and add it one at a time if needed.”
Mercedes said the retention of the car’s black color, adopted last year as a result of a global focus on anti-racism following George Floyd’s death in U.S. police custody, “is a sign of the team’s continued commitment to becoming more diverse and inclusive as a company.”
Wolff said the team has taken a number of steps to increase its diversity, adding: “All of these measures are encouraging, but we know that real change takes time and we are at the beginning of a very long journey.
Silver has been a Mercedes racing paint since the 1930s, and a small amount has been returned to the car in the back.
“So this topic will remain in our focus for years to come as we build on the foundations we have laid in the last few months,” Wolff added.
Technical director James Allison said Mercedes ’design team has focused on compensating for losses created by rule changes that cut off part of the floor with the intent of keeping cornering speeds under control.
Teams have a limit on how much development work they can do on the mechanical aspects of cars from 2020 to 2021.
They are limited to two ‘tokens’ that can be applied to modifications, and Allison declined to disclose which parts of the car they were spent on.
He also said the team had deliberately not yet revealed its design solutions on the back of the floor, to the area affected by the new rules, to prevent rivals from seeing and potentially copying it.
The aerodynamic changes are limitless and Allison said it was “the normal price of looking for opportunities on every square inch of a car with special attention to finding places where we can invest extra weight in nicer aerodynamic geometry.”
This was the focus because the rules dictate that F1 cars weigh 6 kg this season, and Mercedes has also saved on weight since its revolutionary two-axle steering system was banned in 2021.
Changes to the engines are also free, and Mercedes drive unit chief Hywel Thomas said the team “worked hard on the next development step” on both performance and reliability.