Mercedes will launch its 2021 car on 2 March in the first step of its hunt for a record eighth straight drivers’ and constructors’ championship double in Formula 1.

The 2021 car will be officially known as the Mercedes-AMG F1 W12 E Performance, with the ‘E Performance’ section reflecting the new badging on all upcoming Mercedes-AMG hybrid cars. The W12 will be revealed by way of a digital launch event as the United Kingdom remains in lockdown, with both drivers scheduled to speak. The ongoing back and forth between Lewis Hamilton and the team over a new contract means that only Valtteri Bottas is currently confirmed for 2021.

The W12 will not feature Mercedes’ innovative dual axis steering (DAS) system, which was introduced and run through after it was allowed to run on the car last season but outlawed for 2021.

“2021 also sadly means that we say goodbye to an old friend from 2020 which was the DAS system,” technical director James Allison said recently. “Which is a shame for us because that was a useful thing on our car, it brought us good performance in many tracks last year and so it’s with a little bit of sadness that we say goodbye to it. But that’s the rules, and we go into 2021 with a conventional steering system like everybody else.”

Confirmation of the Mercedes launch date follows McLaren (15 February) and Alfa Romeo (22 February) while Aston Martin has simply said it will unveil its new car in March. Ferrari has also suggested it plans to reveal its car at the first test, although that was before testing moved from Barcelona to Bahrain on 12-14 March.