Mercedes has launched the Mercedes 2023 Car. After the disastrous 2022 season in which Lewis did not win a single race, and George only one (his maiden) the team have everything to work for and Toto Wolff has mentioned how much work has been done to get through to launch day.
What Is Mercedes Aiming For In 2023?
The team is cautiously, hopeful, but surprisingly they lacked their natural upbeat confidence, which seems is replaced by a deep determination to regain their position.
The problem is that they have a resurgent Red Bull, and Ferrari which seems to have found its mojo again. Red Bull have time restrictions in the wind tunnel and so will lack the ability to implement massive aero changes during the year.
The 2022 RB18 finished the season in another class compared to Ferrari and Mercedes that these two teams are essentially playing catch up to that model. The 2023 Red Bull RB19 has every chance of being ahead of the bench mark which they set in 2018.
Toto Wolff has said that they do not anticipate the Mercedes W14 2023 F1 Car challenging Fed Bull in the early part of the season, but as it progresses hopefully they will move closer.
Mercedes Chances Two Win In 2023
Mercedes has several strengths that they will be able to capitalize on.
- They have a winning mindset – having won 7 constructor championships which means they have the systems and ability to regain their position.
- They have the technical talent.
- The drivers for Mercedes f1 include one of the top two drivers (Lewis Hamilton), and in George Russel they have a driver who stands up ahead of all the others.
- They are arguably a well managed team, with Toto Wolff is the best manager in the series.
What is different With the Mercedes 2023 Car?
The all black W14 is a reminders of the very successful 2020 W11 car. The reasons for the color switch are different, with the 2023 model being based purely in saving a few ounces of weight.
The W14 is “resplendent” in its natural carbon black finish.
Does The Front Wing Have The Strakes
Mercedes introduced the controversial five strakes onto the front wing at the 2022 United States Grand Prix, but then withdrew after the other teams complained. The new wing included five strakes that where fashioned in such a way that they assisted the airflow.
The FIA has approved the wing design. but the other teams complain that it breaches Article 3.9.8 of F1’s Technical Regulations. The rule allows slot gap separators but not to deliver a direct aerodynamic benefit.
Rather than fight the issue, Mercedes reverted to the old wing.
A one word change in the rules allows the strakes. The rule allows them if the strakes are for mechanical, structural or measurement reasons.
Even if they deliver a significant aero benefit, as long as the primary reason is for mechanical, structural or measurement reasons they are legal.
Interestingly Mercedes hasn’t reintroduced them for 2023 (whereas Ferrari has.) Maybe they are waiting to see the reaction to the Ferrari decision before spending valuable time adding them!
What Else Has Changed on the Mercedes 2023 Car?
Mike Elliott, Mercedes technical director said that the car incorporates many of the modifications they would have used last year, but couldn’t because of the cost cap. This implies that they are well tested and mature.
I will discuss the changes below.
- he upper SIS cowling is narrow compared to the rest of the sidepod.
- The fins and mirrors are very similar to the 2022 car except the mirrors are wider.
- The sidepod inlet has been re orientated to the vertical. The side has been widened compared to last year’s car. It has lost some of the controversial (when it was first introduced in 2022) features.
- These changes may seem small. The amount of work to reposition all the internals is significant.
- The shape of the engine cover from the halo section is the same. This now extends down to the back and finishes to provide a wider cooling outlet.
- the cooling outlet is located higher up which means it clears a space underneath the suspension.
- This also improves also improves the airflow into the “coke bottle” area and over the top surfaces around the engine cover.
- Cooling gills on top of the sidepod will play a positive role in providing cooling air.
- The cooling gill area is adjustable which will be useful at the different circuits and race conditions.
The Front Of The Mercedes W14 2023 F1
- Mercedes have included the front wing endplate design that they first used in Miami in 2022. The FIA does not permit this in 2023. Mercedes seems to have found to keep it with the changes in regulations. This could be the beginning of something special!
- As the flaps are now floating and create their own vortex. More outwash will generate, reducing turbulence, improving the downstream airflow.
- The front suspension has been tidied up which looks like it will have a positive impact on the airflow.
- Mercedes has already said that there will be significant changes to the air pod in the early part of the season.
The Mercedes F1 W14 Engine
The regulations do not permit any major engine developments other than the need to improve reliability.
The rumor is that the Mercedes f1 engine has found a “double digit” increase In HP. Of course it has also there are rumors that Ferrari has found 30hp. This remains a rumor.