Mercedes continue to tease new 2022 challenger

Henry Valantine
George Russell tests for Mercedes with 18-inch tyres. Abu Dhabi December 2021.

George Russell drives past the camera with Pirelli's 2022 spec 18-inch tyres. Abu Dhabi December 2021.

Mercedes have released another social media post that gives an early indication their 2022 car is edging closer to being ready.

The exhaust from the W13 had already been shared on video before Christmas, with the brand new power unit fired up for the first time in the factory.

Formula 1 tech expert Sam Collins saidĀ that being in a position to turn on their new engine this early in pre-season is a “serious statement indeed” from the team.

Team members watched on in the factory as the engine came to life, with one staff member on a video call with team principal Toto Wolff as the big moment arrived.

The latest post came at the turn of the new year, with the team simply posting a picture of the new car in silhouette, reflecting the radically different design which will be in play on the grid next season.

Having raced in black for the past two years, rumour has it that the Constructors’ Champions will revert back to their traditional silver livery in time for Formula 1’s new era.

Teams have been dividing their resources by developing their 2022 cars alongside any upgrades being made to their 2021 challengers last season, with Mercedes and Red Bull doing so as they fought throughout the year for both titles.

Christian Horner admitted Red Bull will only know if they put too much focus on 2021 if Ferrari come and “smash us” at the start of 2022, and Mercedes are likely to be faced with a similar quandary which will only become clear in pre-season testing.

The teams have to adhere to significantly different regulations with their cars in 2022, with new 18-inch tyres from Pirelli coming into play, alongside technical elements which have been implemented for the specific purpose of enabling cars to follow each other more easily, thus creating better racing.

Drivers have spoken openly about the prospect of the cars being different to drive, with new ground effect aerodynamics set to create downforce in a different way – most likely resulting in slightly slower cornering speeds, but higher top speeds.

Lewis Hamilton will have a new partner at the team in George Russell after Valtteri Bottas’ departure for Alfa Romeo, and Russell tested for his new employers after the season ended in Abu Dhabi.


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