German constructor, Mercedes has been the dominating force in the era of turbo-hybrid V6 engines mainly because of two factors- impeccable engineering and talented drivers. Post the domination era of Sebastian Vettel from 2009 to 2013, Mercedes and their star boy Lewis Hamilton have dominated the sport until the 2021 season. Hamilton has won 6 WDC championships while driving for the German Constructor, another WDC from Mercedes was the one won by Nico Rosberg in 2016, who defeated Lewis Hamilton in the same machinery.
Mercedes has had drivers unmatched in skill and huge funds for research and development. Drivers like Rosberg and Valtteri Bottas have been nothing but monumental in their success. However, after a very forgettable 2022 season, Mercedes plans to bounce back with the launch of their 2023 challenger, the W14 on the 15th of February at Silverstone.
Our launch is LIVE in five minutes. Who’s ready to see the W14? 👀 pic.twitter.com/3fi4CbT1Z8— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) February 15, 2023
Mercedes are ‘Back In Black‘ with the W14 which is a refresh from the silver and Petronas blue liveries the last few seasons. It features fluorescent yellow highlights with the base colors of black and teal. The team claims they are heading back to the former livery ‘in the name of performance,’ as many rivals are doing to save weight in reference to the W11, which was considered the ‘best’ car in the turbo hybrid era.
Both the Englishmen will be taking the W14 on a run around the Northamptonshire circuit on the same day of the release.
Toto Wolff mentioned “This year we have tried to figure out where we can squeeze out every single gram. So now, history repeats itself.”
You've had your first look. 👀 Now here's everything you need to know about our W14. 🖤👇— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) February 15, 2023
Based on last year’s lessons, the team claims the W14 has a considerably lighter chassis, reworked front suspension configuration, cooling system modifications, and a refined aerodynamic concept.
Fans react to the Mercedes W14
Fans have reacted unanimously to the W14 livery, they have noticed the nod to the W11 and have welcomed it with open arms. Some even hope that the performance of the W14 matches the W11. One fan said, “Manifesting that its performance will match its beauty”
Simple livery but so beautiful 😍🔥— Freja H. (@FrejaKH) February 15, 2023
Manifesting that its performance will match its beauty. pic.twitter.com/4ceadZkSFL— Pie44 (@Pie44LH) February 15, 2023
It looks great, the Petronas colours look great on the black background. Mercedes for the championship, c’mon Lewis & George take it all the way guys!!! 🤘— Pete (@petemortimer24) February 15, 2023
Supporters hope that Hamilton and Russell can deliver with the W14 as Hamilton and Bottas did with the W11.
Mercedes’ 2022 season was quite forgettable
Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team, headed by Toto Wolff had the worst season in years after issues with the aerodynamics of the 2022 car, the W13. The team is the last team any fan would expect to have engineering errors, but the design of the W13 made it very difficult for the drivers to gain points.
BREAKING: Valtteri Bottas will join Alfa Romeo next season on a multi-year deal from Mercedes#F1 pic.twitter.com/y8JKlNDKb6— Formula 1 (@F1) September 6, 2021
With the departure of Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas to Alfa Romeo due to the appointment of young Englishman George Russell as the driver to pair up with Lewis Hamilton, the team was more than ready to reclaim the WDC for Lewis Hamilton after the fiasco at the 2021 Abu Dhabi GP where an irreversible chain of events caused Lewis Hamilton to lose his 8th WDC to young Dutchman Max Verstappen.
But the W13 caused the team to underperform due to the phenomenon of porpoising, where the wind causes the chassis of the racecar to bounce forth and back. This caused them to lose race pace and they fell to 3rd place behind Red Bull and Ferrari in the Constructor’s Standings.
George Russell is the type of guy who wins Formula 1 races.#BrazilGP #F1https://t.co/ZKSpQ77Yjy— Formula 1 (@F1) November 13, 2022
However, the car was improved throughout the season but Red Bull was too far ahead with Max Verstappen’s dominating spell. Lewis Hamilton is said to have suffered spine issues due to the bouncing of the car and many fans also called the season ‘the end of an era’.
George Russell won the first race of his career at Interlagos in Sao Paolo and finished above Lewis Hamilton in the standings. Mercedes finished the season in 3rd place with 515 points, 1 win, and 17 podiums. Russell scored 275 of those points and finished 4th whereas Hamilton finished in 6th place with 240 points.
Mercedes’ Sponsors, Plans, and Strategy for 2023
To bounce back, the most significant change will occur in the sidepod area, as they may progress towards a middle ground between their ‘zero pod’ concept and Red Bull’s philosophy. Mercedes will also implement alterations to their gearbox, with a different configuration of the essential aspects of the rear suspension.
Team Principal Toto Wolff commented on the 2023 season that “we have to be humble and not feel a sense of entitlement that we are going to get back into this championship and win straight from the get-go. So, I’m looking forward to it.”
Dream Team. 🤩 pic.twitter.com/b5isiGeuVJ— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) February 15, 2023
In the W14 launch ceremony, Team Principal Wolff said “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.”
Hamilton commented “And I love the new livery! It says, ‘we mean business’.”
With improved aerodynamics, Lewis Hamilton is looking optimistically towards the future season to claim his 8th WDC title to break Michael Schumacher‘s record of 7 WDC titles. He will face strong competition not only from Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc but also from his teammate and fellow Englishman, George Russell.