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Published: 12:17 | 21/2/16

Mercedes eye improvements

Silver Arrows unveil 2016 challenger

Mercedes unveiled their 2016 Formula 1 challenger on Sunday, with Paddy Lowe insisting that the back-to-back champions are in the process of improving their performance levels.

The Silver Arrows outfit dominated the previous two seasons, comfortably winning consecutive Constructors' Championship titles, as Lewis Hamilton beat Nico Rosberg to Drivers' Championship glory in both campaigns.

As Mercedes launched their 2016 car - the new machine closely resembles its predecessor - technical director Lowe revealed that he and his colleagues have been working hard to address perceived weaknesses.

“After a highly successful season all round in 2015, our priority has been to identify the areas in which we were weakest and to try to improve on those,” he said.

“Our objective is excellence in all areas, and while we had some fantastic results last year, there are many areas in which we can still be much better.

“That’s the kind of culture we try to instil throughout the whole organisation – one of constantly striving to reach something better."

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel was the only non-Mercedes driver to win in 2015. On one of three occasions of the German's victories, the Singapore Grand Prix, Mercedes struggled badly, with Rosberg taking only fourth place and Hamilton failing to finish.

“We had a number of races that didn’t go to plan in 2015 - Singapore in particular - so there were a lot of things that needed improving for 2016.

"We are seeking optimisation absolutely everywhere.”

With pre-season testing resuming at Barcelona on Monday, Lowe also revealed that the new car is very nearly in the specification that will be used at the campaign-commencing Australian Grand Prix next month.

Moreover, the team has insisted that its engine customers - Williams, Force India and Manor - will receive that very same specification in Melbourne.

Returning to the W07 Hybrid launch, the main aesthetic differences between it and the 2015 challenger concerns the power unit being surrounded by tightened bodywork, while the airbox intake has been significantly enlarged.

By David Maher

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