F1 2023 launch season continues, and it is now the turn of Mercedes to show off their new challenger, with the W14 set to be unveiled on Wednesday.
The Silver Arrows saw their eight-year Constructors’ Championship winning streak end in convincing style last season with the arrival of ground effect aerodynamics in Formula 1’s rules overhaul, with Red Bull and Ferrari comfortably quicker than the sport’s previous dominant force for much of the year.
Chiefly, the troubled Mercedes suffered with ‘porpoising’, the aerodynamic oscillations which see the cars bottom out and ‘bounce’ off the track surface, causing great discomfort to Lewis Hamilton and George Russell in terms of driving experience, but their lack of raw pace compared to their front-running rivals also made for a long, difficult season by their standards last year.
But they will be encouraged by the progress they made as the year went on, with Hamilton in particular taking experimental car set-ups as the team searched for solutions.
Russell, meanwhile, took his first career pole position and victory in Hungary and Sao Paulo respectively, as seven-time World Champion Hamilton went for a full season without a win for the first time in his illustrious Formula 1 career.
But Mercedes will take heart from the way they managed to close the gap to Ferrari and Red Bull, and they will be hoping the work they did over the winter will take them even closer to the front, or even back to the head of the field.
The team had even fired up the W14 before the factory shut down for Christmas, a key milestone in their development as they set about trying to reverse their fortunes and get back to the top of the pile for the 2023 season.
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Hamilton and Russell will be joined by new reserve driver Mick Schumacher and team principal Toto Wolff as the Brackley squad unveil their new livery at Silverstone on Wednesday morning, with the team having teased both a continuation of their famous silver when announcing a new paint partner recently, as well as hinting at black and white on their social media channels of late – leading to intrigue as to what the W14 will actually look like once the covers are taken off.
Mercedes’ launch show will begin at 9.15am GMT and will be shown on the team’s YouTube, Facebook and Twitter channels, before the team take part in their first filming day of the season at the track.
This is limited to 100km of running as the W14 takes to a circuit for the first time, as the team’s drivers get a feel for how the new car handles in earnest as they look ahead to pre-season testing in Bahrain from February 23-25.