Mercedes unveiled their latest creation, the W14 car, in a dramatic digital launch broadcast on Wednesday. The much-anticipated launch featured drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, along with team principal Toto Wolff and new reserve driver Mick Schumacher.
The new car boasts a striking black livery that was previously used by Mercedes in 2020 and 2021 as part of its anti-racism messaging. The team returned to its traditional silver last year but has now reverted to black as part of a “significant project” to reduce the overall weight of the car.
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Hamilton and Russell will get a first taste of the Mercedes W14 car during a shakedown at Silverstone later today. The team is determined to bounce back from a disappointing 2022 season that saw its eight-season streak of constructors’ championships come to an end.
The team struggled to adapt to the new technical regulations, and both drivers faced a recurring porpoising issue through the early part of the season. Despite a promising update at the Spanish Grand Prix, the team continued to struggle with deeper issues that were “baked into” the design of the W13 car.
The team managed to secure only a single victory, courtesy of Russell in Brazil, and finished third in the championship. However, the team believes that it learned valuable lessons from the difficult year.
“Last year was difficult but it came with lots of learnings,” said Wolff. “I hope 2023 will be proof that we have understood how to unravel the problems and improve the package of the car.”
Mercedes has made noticeable tweaks to the design of the W14 car, including around the gulley bodywork on the engine cover. The team has also pursued a “significantly lighter chassis, revised front suspension geometry, cooling system adjustments, and a refined aerodynamic concept based on last year’s learning” to improve performance.
“Last year, once we had figured out what we needed to do, it took a huge amount of work to get ourselves moving forward,” said Elliott.
The team’s commitment to success was clear during the launch. “Our hopes and expectations are always to be capable of fighting for a world championship,” said Wolff. “However, our competitors were very strong last year, and we are playing catch-up. Racing at the front requires resilience, teamwork, and determination. We face up to every challenge, we put the team first, and we will leave no stone unturned in the chase for every millisecond. This year, we are going all in to get back in front.”