Unlucky 13 be damned, Mercedes have taken the covers off their W13, the car the team hopes will regain the Drivers’ Championship.
Last season Mercedes’ run of seven successive doubles was brought to a painful conclusion as Max Verstappen pipped Lewis Hamilton to the Drivers’ title with a last-lap pass at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Mercedes did retain the Constructors’ crown for a record-breaking eighth time, although that did little to ease the disappointment.
It has, however, fired up the team ahead of this year’s championship, a season in which Hamilton has a new team-mate with George Russell replacing Valtteri Bottas.
The new line up presented the W13 to the world on Friday morning, taking the covers off the all-new car.
The return of the Silver Arrows. 🤍 Meet the Mercedes-AMG F1 W13 E Performance. 🤩 pic.twitter.com/NsuEBvbkbK
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) February 18, 2022
The dominant team over the past eight years, Mercedes are starting from scratch this season after Formula 1 went for a different downforce philosophy, opting for ground effect aerodynamics over yesteryear’s over-car air flow.
The new technical regulations have been implemented in the hope of bunching up the field by creating cars that can follow each other far more closely.
Mercedes have shown off their interpretation of the new rules, the W13 featuring a super slim rear with the team the latest to push their sidepod design.
The nose and front wing design also stand out as something different as does the wavy floor edge.
Mercedes, as they said they would, have returned to the traditional silver of the Silver Arrows for this season, the race suits, though, remain black.
“Eight titles but past achievements count for nothing, we start again at zero,” said Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff.
“Obviously we saw the car before and for me the two best moments every year are when you fire up and the second moment is what the car is being put together.
“It is an unbelievable machine. It is quite amazing.
“We are looking forward to racing, it is what we love to do.”
Hamilton and Russell will put their first laps on the car on Friday, conducting a shakedown at the Silverstone circuit five days before Formula 1’s group shakedown in Spain beings on February 23.
Mercedes season launch comes less than 24 hours after the FIA announced that Michael Masi would no longer continue in his role as FIA race director.
The Australian, blamed by many for Hamilton’s championship defeat after his controversial decision-making at the 2021 season finale, has been replaced by a new system that will see Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas act alternatively as Race Director, assisted by Herbie Blash as a permanent senior advisor.
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