Mercedes take in first laps with W14 in Silverstone shakedown

Henry Valantine
George Russell in the Mercedes W14 Formula 1 car. Silverstone February 2023.

Mercedes driver George Russell drives the W14 for the first time in the team's post-launch shakedown. Silverstone February 2023.

Mercedes have shared the first photo of the W14 on track as George Russell took in laps of Silverstone as the team took part in a shakedown on Wednesday.

The Silver Arrows unveiled their return to the black colour scheme on their livery from the 2020 and ’21 seasons with the launch of the W14 at Silverstone in the morning, before Russell got behind the wheel to take in laps of the Northamptonshire track in the afternoon.

These ‘filming days’ with the teams’ current cars are limited to 100km each but serve as a key milestone in development for everyone in the paddock as their new creations take to the track in earnest, with drivers able to provide initial feedback on their feelings behind the wheel.

Russell and Lewis Hamilton will have both had the opportunity to drive the car on Wednesday, though Mercedes also had to share the track with Silverstone-based Aston Martin, who were separately conducting their own shakedown of the AMR23 just a stone’s throw from their factory.

Taking part in a press conference after his allotted running, Russell reported no major issues from the W14 on its initial runs, but when asked if the porpoising which plagued its predecessor last year was present on this year’s challenger, he remained coy, saying: “We’ll see next week”, in reference to the more extensive three-day pre-season test in Bahrain from 23-25 February.

Mercedes will be looking to return to the forefront of the battle for race wins on a regular basis this season after a troublesome year by their standards, Russell taking the team’s sole victory in 2022 in Sao Paulo. recommends

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Mercedes have retained the ‘zero-pod’ sidepod design which set the W13 apart from its rivals in terms of car design last season, though technical director Mike Elliott assured plenty more has changed otherwise as they go in search of performance that will help them fight at the front again this season.

“When you look at the cars that have been released, it’s all in the detail,” Elliott said at the launch.

“The key bits are we’ve completely changed the suspension to help with the handling.

“There are significant changes in the bodywork, although the core stayed the same.”