Formula 1 champion Mercedes kicked off its 2019 Formula 1 world championship campaign on Wednesday by launching the W10 EQ Power+ car with a behind-closed-doors test at Silverstone.

Heading into its 10th season back in Grand Prix racing -- Mercedes returned to the sport in 2010 -- the team hopes the W10 will power it to a sixth consecutive constructors’ and drivers’ championship double.

Along with Haas, Mercedes is the only team to retain the same driver lineup from 2018. Lewis Hamilton leads the championship charge with Valtteri Bottas expected to slot into the No. 2 role once again. For Bottas, the coming season could well make or break his F1 career. Last season, other than the first few Grands Prix of the year, Bottas was a disappointment. Without a win all year and often a long way off the pace of Hamilton in qualifying, the belief of many in the paddock is that Bottas must step up his game or risk being replaced by reserve driver Esteban Ocon.

Ocon was slated to drive for Renault in 2019, but when Daniel Ricciardo was hired for that ride, Mercedes' young driver was handed the reserve role for the Silver Arrows.

Source: Autoweek

February 13, 2019