Mercedes-AMG F1 unveils the new W14 as black livery returns

By topgear, 16 February 2023

Mercedes-AMG F1 unveils the new W14 as black livery returns

The Mercedes W14 has been revealed ahead of the 2023 F1 season, and it’s taken the livery weight-saving we’ve seen on several other rival cars to a whole new level as the famous black livery of 2020 and 2021 returns.

According to team principal Toto Wolff, the change from last year’s silver is because the W13 was “overweight”, and not an ounce of carbon fibre has been left unturned in an effort to “squeeze out every single gramme” on the new car.

“Of course, when we changed the livery in 2020 the main driving factor was to support the diversity and equality causes which are always close to our heart,” explained Wolff. “The colour black became part of our DNA at that point, so we are pleased to return to it.”

Many wondered if Mercedes would abandon the concept it adopted last season, with fundamental flaws in the design causing an aerodynamic phenomenon called porpoising.

This, among other things, left the team off the pace for the first time in years, although the car did show signs of progress late in the season as George Russell claimed his maiden win in Brazil ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton for a 1-2 finish.

And so Mercedes has stuck by its so-called zero sidepod design. “We have done all the things that we wanted to do with the W13 last year but weren’t able to because of resource constraints or because our focus was elsewhere fixing other issues,” explained technical director Mike Elliot. “With this generation of cars, the performance is all in the detail. When you look at the W14, you will see the DNA of the W13 but also a lot of evolution and detail improvement.”

Intriguing. So what do the drivers make of the new car? “I have been a part of this team for over a decade and the efforts of everyone never cease to amaze me,” said Hamilton. “I find it inspiring how diligently and passionately each person approaches their work.

“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’.”

And Russell added: “Aesthetically it looks great! It’s bold, aggressive and stands out. It’s been a long winter and there’s plenty of anticipation to see if the W14 lives up to our expectations. I’m excited and, while there’s a lot of talk at this point in the season, we now need to see how we perform when the car takes to the track.”

The car will undergo a shakedown at Silverstone later today, with pre-season testing taking place in Bahrain next week. What do we reckon folks? Can Mercedes take the fight to Red Bull this year?

TEXT Joe Holding

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