On Thursday morning Mercedes pulled the covers off of its W09 challenger at the Silverstone circuit, and like all the 2018 Formula 1 cars, it includes the FIA-mandated halo. Hamilton posted a video of himself telling his young nephew that he can not wear a dress, a comment that prompted a fierce backlash from critics and resulted in Hamilton apologising before deleting all of his content on Twitter and Instagram since the end of last season.
"I'm not feeling under any pressure of any other drivers being there and Toto and Mercedes have no reason to feel that I'm talking to anybody else", he added. The W09 name is a procession of the naming scheme used since the W01 raced in 2010, in keeping with the name scheme used on the company's Grand Prix racing cars prior to the advent of Formula 1 as we know it today.
With the competition in mind, Mercedes have sounded an ominous warning to the chasing pack after revealing that the 33-year-old is close to extending his six-year stay, with a possible agreement in "the next couple of weeks" ahead of the Australian GP on March 25.
"In the whole six years that I've been here, I haven't spoken to another team once and I think that shows my commitment". And he knows that I know there's no-one else better, so we're comfortable and committed to each other.
"Again, some of the suspension, some of the roll issues that we had, some of the ride issues that we had, some of the floor characteristics, those things will be improved quite a lot".More news: PM Narendra Modi to inaugurate 2-day Investors' Summit in Lucknow
For its first ever photo shoot, the W09 took to the track at Silverstone with Valtteri Bottas calling dibs on being the first one to get behind the wheel first. This is the most exciting part of the year to this point, to see the whole vehicle put together.
"And if you give me a chainsaw, I would take it off".
"That is the answer we all want to get, and we will go from there".
"Some people in their careers are very privileged to be in a strong position and Lewis is one of those because he can afford to be patient". And the step up the works team has made.
It's a massive weight on top of the vehicle, you screw up the centre of gravity massively with that thing. The most significant change is the addition of the Halo cockpit protection, per new F1 rules, plus the omission of the monkey seat and high T-wings.