For once, Toto Wolff is smiling.
Mercedes may have missed out on the F1 driver's championship this year, but it won the coveted constructor's championship for the eighth consecutive year.
It got over Lewis Hamilton's loss quite quickly in typical Germanic fashion, even though it took some drastic steps after the controversial final at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
It has moved on to the next season and is officially the first team to start its 2022 campaign by firing up the new W13 engine it will use next year. Building a new engine seems like a much easier task than getting the Mercedes-AMG One ready for production...
You can see them starting up the engine in the video below, though it doesn't show much apart from a smiling Toto Wolff on a video call.
Why so early, considering the first race is only in March? We recently spent some time behind the scenes with the Mercedes-Benz pit crew and fluid team, and the actual season starts much earlier than you'd think. Before the racing starts, Mercedes has to provide liquid samples to the FIA. Lewis Hamilton and George Russel may be the team's faces, but more than a thousand people are working behind the scenes.
In the video, you can see a few people on the factory floor looking on as the new engine is started for the first time. It all takes place under the watchful eye of Mercedes' team boss and destroyer of headphones, Toto Wolff.
This is the first step in a long process leading to the first race. There are multiple rule changes the teams have to adhere to in 2022, most notably on the aerodynamic side.
All teams are working hard to design the sleekest car with the most downforce within this strict new set of rules. The final designs typically debut in February, just in time for the pre-season testing in Barcelona in late February.
While the new rule changes are significant, we'll have to wait until 2026 for the biggest shake-up the sport has ever seen.
The 2022 F1 season kicks off on March 18 2022 with the Bahrain Grand Prix.