After dominating Formula 1 for much of the past decade, Mercedes-Benz AMG saw its performance fade with the new car design regulations introduced for the 2022 season. The team finished third in the Constructors’ standings, behind Red Bull Racing and Ferrari, while its best-ranked driver, George Russell, finished fourth in the championship.
Mercedes on Wednesday revealed the W14 E Performance as its contender for the 2023 season, and even though the design rules haven’t changed, Mercedes said it has taken the lessons learned from the difficult previous season to develop the new race car.
Some of the results of these lessons can be seen on the new car, such as the revised bodywork on the engine cover. According to Mercedes, there are also numerous changes beneath the surface.
Another key change is a return to a black livery instead of the traditional silver. Mercedes previously ran the color in the 2020 and 2021 seasons as a statement against racism and discrimination. This time, the livery was picked with performance in mind. A close inspection reveals much of the livery is actually bare carbon fiber, similar to how early Mercedes race cars were stripped of their white paint to save weight, leaving the bare aluminum which in turn led to the Silver Arrows name.
Mercedes-Benz AMG W14 E Performance 2023 Formula 1 race car
The W14’s chassis is also significantly lighter, as opposed to last year which saw the team run a car that was heavier than the mandated minimum. The lighter weight, together with revised front suspension geometry and new aerodynamics, should result in more consistent balance across the speed range, according to Mercedes. One of the main issues last season was a tendency for the car to bounce, known in F1 as porpoising.
The W14’s power unit design carries over from the previous season. This means the car runs a hybrid setup combining a turbocharged 1.6-liter V-6 and two motor-generators, one on the driveline and another integrated with the turbo. Ferrari develops and builds its power unit in-house.
Russell will once again drive for Mercedes. He will be joined by team veteran Lewis Hamilton, as well as former Haas driver Mick Schumacher who is serving as a reserve.
Pre-season testing starts on Feb. 23 at Bahrain International Circuit, home of the Bahrain Grand Prix. The Bahrain race serves as the first race on the 2023 F1 calendar, and is scheduled for Mar. 5.