Mercedes keep slim sidepods but go back to black with new car · RaceFans

Mercedes have unveiled the W14, the car they plan will bring them back to title-winning success in Formula 1.

Officially called the ‘F1 W14 E Performance’, the car will be driven by seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, who picked up his first F1 win with Mercedes last year. After eight successive seasons of being world champions, Mercedes fell to third in the constructors’ standings in 2022.

Joining the team as reserve driver this year is former Haas driver Mick Schumacher, whose father Michael raced for Mercedes in F1 between 2010 and 2012.

The team saw its run of eight consecutive constructors championship victories come to an end last year.

2023 Mercedes W14 - George Russell colours
Russell’s car has green highlights, Hamilton’s are yellow

“When I look back, overall it was a difficult season,” team principal Toto Wolff admitted. “It was that we started with a car that was really not good, and we tried to figure out what happened and it was difficult at times.

“But also managing your own emotions, because we had races that were pretty encouraging like Barcelona. And then you go back to some tracks where the car didn’t perform at all. So the learning is I think we have a better understanding for what happened with the car, the personal learning is you know how to cope with a season that overall wasn’t very successful.”

They only scored a single win, at the penultimate round of the season in Brazil, after suffering porpoising problems with their previous car.

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“Obviously towards the end the car got quicker and finally George and Lewis were able to drive something that was a little bit more predictable and we had some highlights like Interlagos.”

Throughout the season it faced questions over whether it would retain the aggressive sidepod design used on the W13. The first images of the team’s new car indicates it has.

However the team has returned to the black livery it raced during 2020 and 2021, having switched to silver last year. Several of their rival teams have presented cars with more bare carbon panels as they strive to reduce weight. Mercedes previously ran their car in black to show support for racial diversity.

The W14 will be driven for the first time in a shakedown test at Silverstone today. Team principal Toto Wolff admitted they are looking to see the first signs the porpoising problems which plagued last season have been addressed. “Hopefully when we do the shakedown in an hour or so’s time the car is going to behave,” he said.

Pictures: 2023 Mercedes W14

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