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Mercedes announce launch date for new car

Raring to go: Lewis Hamilton will be hoping to match last year's success PICTURE: REX

LEWIS HAMILTON will next month take the wraps off the Mercedes he hopes will power him to a record-equalling seventh world championship.

The 35-year-old Briton is due to get the first taste of his new car in a behind-closed-doors event at Silverstone on February 14.

It will mark the defending champions’ effective launch of their new machinery, three days after rivals Ferrari unveil their challenger in Maranello.

Hamilton will equal Michael Schumacher’s record championship haul if he triumphs for a sixth time in seven seasons this year.

In an Instagram post, Hamilton, who is also just seven wins shy of Schumacher’s win record, wrote: ‘I’m going to be a machine this year, on another level than ever before.’

Winter testing for the new Formula One campaign gets under way in Barcelona on February 19 before Melbourne plays host to the opening race on March 15.