File picture: Darren Abate / AP Photo.

London - The Mercedes race car that could take Lewis Hamilton to a sixth Formula One title this year will have its first track outing at Silverstone on February 13, the championship winning team has announced.

The closed session at the British Grand Prix circuit marks a break from the structured formal launches of the past and comes five days before the start of testing at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya.

The new car, officially dubbed the Mercedes-AMG F1 W10 EQ Power+, is the 10th built since the German carmaker's return as a works team in 2010.

Mercedes has won the last five drivers' and constructors' titles and can become the first to do the double six years in a row.

Ferrari is the only team to have won six successive constructors' championships, with Michael Schumacher from 1999 to 2004.

Mercedes, with Finland's Valtteri Bottas again partnering Britain's Hamilton, are with Haas the only teams to have an unchanged lineup this year.

The season starts in Australia on March 17.

Reuters