Mercedes reveal launch date for 2022 F1 car as they prepare for new Lewis Hamilton, George Russell era
Mercedes to unveil W13 on February 18 and say both drivers will attend digital launch at Silverstone; Lewis Hamilton, whose future is still unclear, joined by George Russell in 2022; Merc aiming for ninth straight constructors' title and to bounce back from Abu Dhabi controversy
By Matt Morlidge
Last Updated: 18/01/22 12:36pm
Mercedes have announced a February 18 launch date for their next Formula 1 car as the world champions, following the controversial end to last season, begin their hunt for more titles in 2022's all-new era.
The team will officially unveil the W13 in a "special digital launch event" at Silverstone, and say both drivers will conduct virtual media interviews before the new car is put through a shakedown programme at the circuit.
That means it should be the first official day as team-mates for Briton's Lewis Hamilton, who still has not spoken publicly since 2021's season-ending Abu Dhabi GP that saw Max Verstappen dramatically snatch the drivers' title, and George Russell, the 23-year-old Valtteri Bottas replacement.
Mercedes have become the fourth team to confirm their launch and currently have the latest unveiling before pre-season testing begins on February 23.
Despite Hamilton's 2021 title heartbreak, Mercedes did beat Red Bull to the constructors' crown and will hope the W13 continues their unprecedented F1 streak of eight straight team titles.
However, a complete overhaul of the regulations and cars provides the Silver Arrows with what is possibly the greatest challenge yet and could threaten their status as one of F1's two teams to beat.
After two years in a black livery, Mercedes are set to switch back to their traditional silver colour for F1 2022.
When are the new cars revealed?
|February 10||Aston Martin|
|Six teams TBC|
Will Hamilton be at the launch? F1 latest
Mercedes' date reveal comes amid an off-season F1 saga.
The FIA are continuing their review into the events of Abu Dhabi, which Sky Sports understands is key to Hamilton's F1 future and the results of which will first be communicated in early February.
Although Hamilton is contracted to Mercedes for two more seasons, the team are yet to confirm he is racing this year and Toto Wolff admitted his star driver was "disillusioned" with F1 following 2021.
Should Hamilton return - as is certainly expected - he will be aiming for a record eighth F1 title.
"Lewis is 37 years old and we know he's driving at his peak, incredibly determined and competitive," said Sky F1's Martin Brundle last week.
"He will be back and he'll be pressing the throttle ever harder."