Mercedes-AMG F1 W11 EQ Performance - 2020 Portuguese Grand Prix
Mercedes’ contender for the 2020 season, the F1 W11 EQ Performance was conceived to make history: to lead the team to an unparalleled seventh consecutive FIA Formula One Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship double. After a delayed start to an unusual season, which was never going to be normal due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the W11 remained a rare constant, dominating both Championships with 13 wins (a win percentage of 76.5%) and 12 front row lockouts from only 17 races. The W11 was driven by Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and Williams F1’s George Russell, who deputised for Hamilton in his absence at the Sakhir Grand Prix after he tested positive for coronavirus. Hamilton dominated the season, equalling Michael Schumacher’s fifteen-year record when he secured his seventh Drivers’ Championship at the Turkish Grand Prix in Round 14. He would in fact finish 124 points ahead of his teammate Bottas despite not competing in Sakir, a gap that on its own would have placed Hamilton fifth in the Drivers’ Championship.
Hamilton and the W11 now hold the record for the fastest pole position lap in history, clinching the achievement in qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix. Hamilton averaged 164.3 mph (264.4 km/h) across his 1m18.887 lap of Monza. The W11 is quite possibly the fastest F1 car the world will ever see, at least for the foreseeable future, with the incoming rule changes for 2021 decreasing the downforce levels of the cars. For perspective, the W11 is widely considered to be around seven seconds a lap faster than Ayrton Senna’s commanding 1989 McLaren MP4/4 and five seconds a lap quicker than Michael Schumacher’s dominating Ferrari F2004. In the words of Hamilton himself, the W11 was “the best car we have ever built. And possibly the best car we will ever have”. The Mercedes team set new lap records during Grands Prix at eight different tracks in 2020, with five falling to Hamilton, two to Bottas, and one to Russell, crushing records held since the V10 era. Rather fittingly, the W11 attained a seventh consecutive International Racing Car of the Year Award for the team at the 2020 Autosport Awards, as voted for by the public.
Unveiled initially on Valentine’s Day in its usual silver livery with new Official Principal Partners INEOS, the W11‘s colour was switched to an all-black livery in a public pledge to improve the diversity of the team, following the global movement against racism. It is considered one of the most striking liveries in recent years and made a strong statement about the intentions of the team known historically as the Silver Arrows.
Three years in the making, the W11 was the culmination of efforts started in 2017 to improve Mercedes’ traditional struggles in slow corners. The dominant W10 of 2019 was very balanced in all types of corner on the racetrack, and the W11 was an evolution of the knowledge gained in that title winning season. One of the more innovative solutions developed by the engineers was the Dual Axis Steering (DAS) system, which allowed the driver to adjust the toe of the front wheels to optimise mechanical grip by pulling or pushing on the steering wheel. More structural complexity was introduced around the front uprights and wheel rims in a compromise to provide higher performance overall, whilst Mercedes followed the pitlane trend by moving the upper side impact tube to the lower position and banking the aerodynamic gain that comes with this layout. At the rear of the car, the design of the suspension was changed in order to free up aerodynamic development opportunities and reduce understeer.
Overall, the W11 earned 13 wins, 12 further podiums, 15 pole positions and 9 fastest laps from just 17 races, scoring 573 points and giving the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship titles for a record seventh consecutive time.
This intricately hand-crafted 1:18 scale model of the Mercedes-AMG F1 W11 EQ Performance is based on the cars as raced by Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas at the Formula 1 Heineken Grande Prémio De Portugal on the 25th October 2020. In the first Grand Prix ever to be held in Portimão, and the first in Portugal since 1996, this race will be forever remembered most of all for the moment where Hamilton became Formula One’s most successful driver of all time in terms of victories: 92 race wins, moving him above Michael Schumacher in the list and cementing his name firmly in the history books.
It looked to be another simple race for the Mercedes driver, qualifying on pole position ahead of his teammate Valtteri Bottas. But, Hamilton had to overcome a dramatic opening lap, where he was passed by both Bottas and the McLaren of Carlos Sainz - with the Mercedes cars struggling to get the Medium tyres fired up. Once up to temperature though, the Mercedes quickly re-passed Sainz, while Hamilton was then able to out-drag Bottas on Lap 20 (of 66) to take a lead that he would only briefly relinquish in the pitstop sequence, despite suffering from intense cramp in his right calf muscle. In fact, so dominant was his victory, that he crossed the finish line a full 25.592s seconds ahead of his teammate, who himself finished ten seconds clear of third positon. Hamilton now holds the all-time records for most wins, podiums, points, races led and pole positions in Formula One and, by winning in Portimão, he triumphed on a 28th different circuit in his F1 career, extending his record. He also stretched his streak of points finishes to 45 in a row - no other driver has scored in more than 27 in a row.
This model was created by the Amalgam Collection, in collaboration with the Memento Group. These exquisite models have been developed in the workshops of Amalgam with the assistance of Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team regarding CAD data, original finishes, materials and original drawings. Part of the Memento Group’s official Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team collection, the Mercedes-AMG F1 W11 EQ Performance has been crafted under licence from Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Limited.
The Mercedes-AMG F1 W11 EQ Performance is limited to just 500 pieces at 1:18 scale.
This model is a part of the 2020 Mercedes-AMG F1 W11 EQ Performance Collection.
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