Mercedes has successfully fired up its 2021 Formula 1 car for the first time ahead of the upcoming season.

The Brackley-based outfit is gunning for its eighth consecutive F1 world championship double this year and will launch its upgraded W12 challenger on 2 March before pre-season testing gets underway in Bahrain between 12-14 March.

Mercedes shared a sound clip of its W12 car roaring into life for the first time on social media on Thursday afternoon.

It comes a week after Mercedes engine chief Hywel Thomas admitted the German manufacturer had encountered some “issues” with its new power unit and is working to introduce fixes in time for the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix on 28 March.

"We have got some issues with the power units," Thomas said in a recent Mercedes video. "We know we have issues but we have plenty of plans in place to fix all of those issues.

"I'm sure it will all be ready for the first race.”

Mercedes’ W12 car will once again be driven by reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

Hamilton, who recently signed a new one-year deal to remain with Mercedes for the 2021 season, is bidding to win an unprecedented eighth drivers’ crown this year to surpass the record he currently holds with Michael Schumacher. understands that Mercedes is not planning to conduct its usual shakedown test at Silverstone owing to the quantity of carryover in the car for 2021, meaning the first time it will hit the track will be on the opening day of the Bahrain test.