Mercedes have unveiled their W14 car for the 2023 Formula One season. The striking design is finished in all black, marking a return to familiar colours for the German manufacturer.
Mercedes was the second-to-last F1 team to unveil their 2023 season car, the W14, at a special presentation from Silverstone on Wednesday morning. It featured an all-black livery and, with rivals Ferrari unveiling their new competitor just the day prior, Mercedes hopes this will set them up for winning races and titles.
Mercedes’ latest design marks a comeback to black, a shade they had used in both 2020 and 2021, after opting for the traditional silver in 2022. Toto Wolff, drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, and new reserve Mick Schumacher were all present at the show on Wednesday for what will be followed by a shakedown at the location of the British Grand Prix.
Mercedes come into 2023 aiming to regain their footing after an eventful 2022 season. At the beginning, they faced huge challenges but with their dedication and many changes made to their W13, they managed to reclaim their winning streak and came third in the constructors' standings.
At the unveiling of the W14, Wolff stated that they have high aspirations of contending for the World Championship; yet they were overpowered by their rivals in the previous year and are trying to overcome this deficit.
“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.”
Regarding the return of a black livery, which is largely carbon fibre to minimise weight, Wolff said: “We were too heavy last season; so we looked into all possibilities to slim down. Subsequently, we've come back to a familiar look with some matte black sections, as well as some raw carbon parts.
For the 2023 season, Mercedes will have a new structure as they get up and running with the W14 car in pre-season testing at Bahrain International Circuit from February 23-25. One difference will be James Vowles leaving his strategy-focused role at the Silver Arrows to become team boss at Williams. The 2023 journey then begins with the opening round of the season a week later.
FIRST LOOK: Ferrari reveal their 2023 SF-23 F1 car at Maranello
It is hard to fathom how any other team would be able to outdo the performance of Ferrari considering their impressive array of resources at Fiorano. The SF23 follows a similar aerodynamic template to that of its 2022 F1 car, with optimised radiator intake and undercutting on the front corner of the sidepod. Furthermore, it has retained the characteristic ‘bathtub’ shape on the sidepod but with fewer louvres that can be adjusted in accordance with each track’s particular cooling needs. It is tough to imagine any other squad managing to outmatch Ferrari amid these incredible amenities.
It's noteworthy to observe the extensive use of unpainted carbon on the surfaces, likely for the sake of shedding weight - a clear indication of the difficulty in achieving the weight limit, even for major teams. Additionally, this years front wing is unlike last year with a common full-width slot gap distinguished by green highlights just ahead of the second element and a trail edge on the rear flap which bends outboard yet quickly slides inward near the inner side of the tire - highlighted in red.
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