Mercedes used one of its permitted filming days - each team is permitted 100 kilometres of track time on each of two days before the start of official testing, for shooting promotional videos - as a shakedown run, as Valtteri Bottas took the new auto out for a few laps of a cold and overcast Silverstone on Thursday morning.
The four-time world champion actually discovered for the first time the completed W09 when he arrived at Silverstone earlier today.
Speaking at the Silverstone launch of the Mercedes F1 W09 EQ Power+, Wolff did not hold back when asked about the halo. We've had a successful year. "So we were careful not to lose the car's many strengths just to overcome the difficulties", stated team boss, Toto Wolff.
And Wolff added: We've tried to preserve what we had in terms of speed in the vehicle and find more drivability.
Mercedes' 2018 model certainly has a lot to live up to.
Hamilton's current deal with Mercedes will be up at the end of the upcoming season and the British superstar has been weighing up his options following his fourth world title last term.
Toto Wolff, team manager at Mercedes, told Autoweek that though the vehicle has a chance of making history, there are still some challengers that could give the squad a run for the championship this season.
And Wolff believes F1 2018 is poised to deliver at least a three-team battle for wins.
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Another revelation was that the people who spent two hours a day on a hobby were able to cut their risk by 21 percent. Other factors were found to boost longevity, including weight.
"We hope that we keep the good character traits of the diva, we all like divas", said Wolff.
"It's very risky before the season has started to reduce the number of potential competitors".
Bottas will be racing for his future as one of a number of drivers - along with Hamilton and Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo - whose contracts expire at the end of the season.
"I'm very curious how McLaren is going to perform with the Renault engine".
Hamilton said: It's hard to know.
Speculation in recent days has focused on Ferrari's likely vehicle livery with suggestions that the white which featured on the engine cover of its famous red machine past year could disappear after former sponsor Santander withdrew from F1. The cars are getting heavier. Get Sky Sports F1.
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