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 its 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.”

Ferrari meanwhile, have announced Charles Leclerc’s brother has signed to their young driver academy.

Arthur Leclerc, 19, has been rewarded with the role after he registered one win and seven podiums in German Formula 4 last year.

Charles Leclerc was handed a five-year contract extension by Ferrari last month following a strong debut season for the Scuderia in which he won twice, and finished above team-mate Sebastian Vettel in the championship.

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.