This is 2021’s championship-winning F1 car*

By topgear, 03 March 2021

Reveals of 2021’s new F1 cars continue apace with this, the Mercedes-AMG W12 E Performance. This is the car that could win Mercedes its eighth consecutive Constructors’ Championship and Lewis Hamilton his eighth F1 World Championship. And you know what? Barring any massive upsets, it probably will. 

The new season’s F1 cars are very similar to last year’s cars since COVID-19 postponed the big, exciting regulations change to 2022. But there have been some changes for 2021 – the FIA has tweaked rules surrounding the shape of the floor, rear brake ducts and diffuser fences to limit downforce. The minimum weight of the car & powertrain has been increased, and of particular concern to Mercedes, its clever dual-axis steering system has been outlawed. 

That said, the W11 was hugely quick – winning 13 of 17 races last season – so the W12 ought to be too. We’ll only know for sure if other teams have caught up when the F1 circus lands in Bahrain for the first race of the season towards the end of this month. The team’s driver line-up is the same as last year – this’ll be Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas’ fifth season as teammates. 

Last season Merc ran a special black livery. It largely remains for 2021, with a fade to silver and plentiful AMG-branding. Flashes of green and red are a nod to Merc’s main sponsor Petronas and one-third team owner Ineos respectively.