Mercedes have released on-board footage of Lewis Hamilton racking up his first miles in the all-new silver W13 at Silverstone.
Friday, February 18 felt like the beginning of a new chapter at the Silver Arrows as the seven-time World Champion officially broke his silence on the events of last season’s title finale at Abu Dhabi, vowing “if you think that what you saw at the end of last year was my best, wait until you see this year”.
With no intention of watching the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix back and also no intention of quitting the sport over the controversial manner in which he lost out on a record-breaking eighth title, all focus for Hamilton and the Mercedes team was on the 2022 season.
Once George Russell had the honour of taking the W13 for its first blast around the Silverstone circuit, albeit in very tricky conditions as Storm Eunice swept its way across the UK, he handed over to Hamilton who definitely had the better of the weather conditions.
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) February 19, 2022
The initial renders of the W13 that Mercedes released on Friday morning were very different to the real car that was unveiled at the launch show and taken out for a ride later that day.
The W13 in its current guise features a long and very low nose tip and a striking wavy floor design and, while we did not see the W13 at full beans in the released on-board footage, we did see DRS in action on Mercedes’ new ‘double-dip’ rear wing.
For those that have been struggling to understand how DRS might work with the new volute shaped endplates leave it to @MercedesAMGF1 to show it in action in their latest video…
— Matthew Somerfield 🅢🅞🅜🅔🅡🅢Ⓕ① (@SomersF1) February 19, 2022
Hamilton may have been the driver featured in the on-board footage, but it was Russell who gave his first impressions after driving Mercedes’ new beast.
“Well, firstly, they gave me goosebumps when the car was fired up for the first time,” he said.
“I’ve driven so many laps in the simulator, I’ve seen so many drawings of it, I’ve had so many meetings about it, but there’s nothing like going to a racetrack.
“It almost brings me back to my roots with a cold, wet windy day at Silverstone.”
“I think the facts are, if you take the exact same car when there’s no wind, and then you put it in 100 kilometre per hour winds like today, it’s going to feel very difficult to drive.
“It certainly wasn’t easy out there with the conditions, but it was very much in line with what we saw in the simulator. I’ll be going back correlating.
“But it’s going to be a constant learning process. I think we’re all going to take today with a pinch of salt and just get through the programme, make sure the car runs OK, make sure the drivers are comfortable, and make sure we’re in the best spot possible.”
Next stop for Mercedes is the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona with three more ‘shakedown’ days getting underway from Wednesday, February 23.
Mercedes reveal their 2022 challenger
Mercedes have revealed their 2022 car and the silver arrows are back.