Hamilton 'can't wait' to drive new Mercedes, Bottas 'fired up' by W12

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Both Mercedes drivers are raring to go after the launch of the new W12 on Tuesday.

This season, the Brackley-based team looks to extend their historic run of championship success for an eighth straight year.

Of course, the man expected to lead Mercedes in that pursuit is Lewis Hamilton, who equalled Michael Schumacher with seven Formula 1 titles in 2020.

"The launch day of a new car is always a really exciting one," said the Briton.

"It's great to reveal to the world the result of everyone's hard work at the factories and to see some of my teammates in person, which has been so rare during the past year.

"I've been in touch with the engineers through the winter, keeping track of their preparations as I prepare myself for the season ahead. The excitement has been building and building, so now I just can't wait to get out on track in the W12."

That chance will come in a shakedown at Silverstone this week.

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Meanwhile, teammate Valtteri Bottas, who finished 124 points behind Hamilton in 2020, is equally eager to sample the black Silver Arrow.

"Obviously we haven't been able to visit the factory much in the past year, so firstly, I'm really happy to be back here and to see the new car in person for the first time," said the Finn.

"I've been getting regular updates on how things are progressing, so it's nice to now be able to see the end result in the flesh and that just gets me more fired up for the new season.

"The cars are pretty similar to last year but there are some interesting aero changes that will have an impact on how the car handles and performs, so I'm looking forward to seeing how it feels on track in Bahrain."