Mercedes fire up W14 for the first time as 2023 challenger comes to life

Henry Valantine
The exhaust of the Mercedes car. Brackley, September 2022.

The exhaust of the Mercedes car. Brackley, September 2022.

Mercedes have reached a major milestone in the 2023 development process as the engine of the W14 was fired up for the first time.

The Silver Arrows shared a video from their factory ahead of their Christmas shutdown as their 2023 challenger was brought to life for its first ignition, in a key landmark of the car’s development cycle.

Mercedes posted a clip of the all-important moment on their social media channels, with several members of staff seen working on the car before their colleagues watched on as the engine was fired up for the first time, wearing earplugs to stifle the noise from inside the factory.

Naturally, details of the actual car itself were kept well hidden from the video, with the team yet to confirm when the W14 will be unveiled to the world – only Aston Martin and Ferrari having announced their car launches, on 13th and 14th February respectively.

W14 represents a key marker as Mercedes look to recover

Even though the teams create a new car from scratch every season in Formula 1, there is still likely to be a big thrill from Mercedes staff members at achieving this landmark before closing down for Christmas.

Given how troublesome the W14’s predecessor proved to be for the team throughout 2022, it is clear from their work throughout the year that the team have been looking to iron out the troubles the W13 had with porpoising, while bridging the sizeable gap they had to Red Bull and Ferrari.

They reeled in their rivals bit by bit as the season progressed, and their one-two finish at the penultimate round in Brazil will no doubt have given Mercedes fresh motivation heading into the off-season.

Even though there are still a couple of months to go before pre-season testing for 2023 and plenty of work to be done to the car before it takes to the track in Bahrain for the first time, Mercedes have hit a big milestone in bringing their new car together nonetheless.

Read more: F1 2023 calendar: Car launch dates, pre-season testing, TV schedule