Mercedes have confirmed the launch date for their W14 challenger, the one which they hope will return them to title contention.
2022 was a bitterly disappointing campaign for the Silver Arrows as their run of consecutive Constructors’ titles ended at eight, the W13 managing only one victory, coming courtesy of George Russell at the Sao Paulo GP.
But with a new season comes renewed optimism, and the W14 is the challenger which will look to return the Mercedes team to their victorious ways.
And on February 15 we will meet the W14 for the first time, for what will be a fully virtual launch held at the Silverstone circuit.
Confirmed 2023 F1 car launches
Williams: February 6
AlphaTauri: February 11
Aston Martin: February 13
McLaren: February 13
Ferrari: February 14
Mercedes: February 15
Alpine: February 16
Red Bull: TBC
Alfa Romeo: TBC
Details have so far been scarce on what the potential W14 specifications could be, but Mercedes boss Toto Wolff teased at last season’s finale at Abu Dhabi last year that it could look quite different to its predecessor: the nightmare that was the W13.
“It’s full of surprises,” Wolff told media including PlanetF1.com. “The last time I saw it I thought ‘oh this looks the same [as the W13]’ but here’s hoping it’s not the same.”
I go into the wind tunnel and it looks like this year’s car but they say to me it’s very different underneath.
“It’s about the airflow, it’s about the weight distribution, it’s about the aero map.
“Our car fundamentally changed mid-year. We changed the concept but we couldn’t see anything on the bodywork.”
It was clear early on in the F1 2022 season that the W13 would not be a car capable of pushing Lewis Hamilton and George Russell into a potential title challenge, but Wolff is hoping that Mercedes have been learning from their mistakes.
“I think we have a much better understanding of what the problems were,” he explained. “We’ve been peeling only a layer of the onion, layers of discovering more issues and more problems, but I think we’ve come to the point that we understand pretty well why the car is not performing.
“The correlation at least is there for some tracks so it’s all in the fine detail of how can we make the car work out aerodynamically, how can we improve the ride and make it more fun?
“I think if we’re able to solve that over the winter, at least we can provide a stable platform to the drivers and we can develop it from there.”