Mercedes announces launch details for new W10

Bottas swaps Formula One for winter rally run (1:07)

Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas impressed at the Arctic Lapland Rally, finishing fifth overall and even winning a stage. (1:07)

The car that Lewis Hamilton will use to defend his F1 world championship will hit the track for the first time on February 13 ahead of an online launch at Silverstone in the U.K..

Mercedes announced the launch of its new car, the W10, via a video on social media showing clips of the previous nine cars it has produced since returning to the championship in 2010. The German manufacturer has won the drivers' and constructors' titles for the last five years and goes into the 2019 season as the favourites to add a sixth title in both championships.

The W10 will hit the track on February 13 with the aim of completing the 100km distance allowed for a "filming day" under F1's strict testing regulations. The team intends to tease the launch of the car before releasing the first images of the W10 online at 10:00 GMT on February 13.

Hamilton and teammate Valtteri Bottas will both get behind the wheel of the car during the Silverstone shakedown before the W10 completes its first day of official testing alongside its competitors on February 18 at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain.

Seven of F1's ten teams have announced the date of their launches so far, with Mercedes' due to take place after Toro Rosso and Renault and on the same day as Racing Point (the team previously known as Force India).

The first race of the new season will get underway on March 17 in Melbourne, Australia.

2019 launch dates

February 11 - Toro Rosso
Feburary 12 - Renault
February 13- Mercedes
Feburary 13 - Racing Point
February 14 - McLaren
February 15 - Ferrari
February 18 - Sauber

For more key dates on the 2019 F1 calendar, click here