As the countdown for the 2023 Formula 1 season begins, the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team unveiled its 2023 contender, the Mercedes-AMG F1 W14 E Performance, on Wednesday.
Mercedes say their new car is “forged in the learnings of a difficult 2022” when they struggled to match the pace of the likes of Red Bull and Ferrari. “The underlying concept of the W13 has been retained and development focused on core performance areas. That has led to a car that retains the distinctive DNA of its predecessor and introduces a combination of notable changes that are visible on first inspection - such as the gulley bodywork on the engine cover - and others beneath the surface,” a press release from the team explains.
The big talking point is the iconic black livery from 2020 and 2021, which the team adds, has been refined as part of a significant project to reduce overall weight. "Our hopes and expectations are always to be capable of fighting for a World Championship. However, our competitors were very strong last year, and we are playing catch-up," said team principal & CEO of the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team, Toto Wolff.
The team’s technical director Mike Elliott says when you look at the W14, “you will see the DNA of the W13 but also a lot of evolution and detail improvement.” Some notable areas of work on the W14 include reducing overall weight, giving the drivers a more consistent car balance across the speed range, and better matching the aerodynamic characteristics to the demands of the aero regulations. “This is borne out in areas such as a significantly lighter chassis, revised front suspension geometry, cooling system adjustments and a refined aerodynamic concept based on last year's learning,” the release adds.
Sharing his initial thoughts on the new car for the new season, 7-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton said: “To see the evolution of the car and the changes that have been made is fascinating. We've redesigned, optimised, and innovated so many parts of the car and that is impressive. And I love the new livery! It says, 'we mean business'."
Hamilton will be partnered by George Russel in the new season as they look to wrestle back the drivers’ and constructors’ championship from Red Bull and their Dutch driver Max Verstappen, who were in dominating form last year.
It’s the season of F1 car launches as teams get set for the new championship year. The likes of Ferrari, Red Bull, Aston Martin, Alpha Tauri, McLaren, Williams, Alfa Romeo and Haas have already revealed their cars for the 2023 Formula 1 season.