Mercedes unveils car for Hamilton’s record-breaking F1 bid

BRACKLEY, England — Mercedes has unveiled the car Lewis Hamilton will drive this season while trying to win an unprecedented eighth Formula One title.

The W12 car, presented Tuesday, retains the black introduced last year as part of the team’s campaign against racism and discrimination, and adds a touch of its more traditional silver.

The 36-year-old Hamilton, who signed a one-year contract extension last month, is bidding to move one title clear of Michael Schumacher. Meanwhile, Mercedes will be chasing an eighth drivers’ and constructors’ double.

Since joining Mercedes for the 2013 season, Hamilton has won six world titles — moving him level with Schumacher with a record seven for his career.

Hamilton, who has won 74 races with Mercedes, said earning an eighth title “is the ultimate dream, but I don’t think it will be the deciding factor as to whether I stay or keep going.”

“I got into racing because I love racing and that has to be the core of what I do. If all you are going for is accolades and titles, I feel like I could lose my way,” Hamilton said. “It is whether I still have that smile when I put on that helmet and leave the garage and whether I still enjoy it.”

Hamilton will be teaming up with Valtteri Bottas for a fifth consecutive year.

The 2021 F1 season begins this month in Bahrain.

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