Looks like German newspaper Bild have stolen a march on the planned Tuesday launch of the new Mercedes Petronas – posting a picture of what appears to be the car, resplendent in its 2011 livery. And, in a pleasing development, the team do appear to have made some changes:
There’s no real reason to suspect this is phoney – if it is, someone’s done a good job of ensuring that the details we’d know would change (race number, Pirelli badge) are present, and it also contains new detail (the front-of-sidepod sponsor) that wouldn’t necessarily be expected by anyone creating a mockup. So on the assumption that it’s real… well, I like it. It integrates the Petronas turquoise into the livery far better than the 2010 car did – their logo looks significantly better in white text on a full turqoise background rather than black text with a wishy-washy splash of it underneath. Indeed, the colours complement each other well enough that it’s a surprise they didn’t go with this bold an application last year. Nevertheless, it’s a strong evolution of the team’s image, and when we see it properly should make for a good-looking car.
Thanks to Ned Flanders of this parish for the heads-up!
Update: The picture’s veracity has been confirmed by Mercedes, who’ve released a higher-res version (now above), which also turns out to be a rendering rather than a photograph.