Silver Arrows are back to black as they once again return to a mostly dark livery for their newly launched W14. Mercedes revealed their potential title contender on the 15th of February at the legendary Silverstone racing circuit. The car looks aggressive, sleek and overall just fast, but it’s too early to say if Mercedes can truly return to their former glory. Mercedes did take their W14 out for a live shakedown, but this joyride still didn’t answer all the important questions. So far, the team is full of enthusiasm and last year’s experience should teach the team a thing or two, but if F1 has taught us one thing, it’s to always expect the unexpected.
Drivers and Crew
Some say he is the greatest of all time, while some say it’s all in the car, but those who truly know the sport can recognize the immense talent and professionalism that Sir Lewis Hamilton brings to the table. The 7 time world champion is yet to satisfy his hunger, as he continuously chases for that record-breaking 8th title. His resume includes 103 Grand Prix wins, 191 podiums and 103 pole positions – stats, which may never be broken again. You can never count him out, in any given scenario. At the age of 38, Hamilton still can go head to head with the youngsters of the sport and if Mercedes can deliver the right package, who knows what the upcoming season holds? Surely enough, the Hammertime will strike once more in 2023.
George Russell rounds out the British Merc duo, with this line-up entering its second consecutive year. Russell was a dominant force in his early career, claiming a convincing F2 championship back in 2018. Afterwards, he made his F1 debut with Williams and boy, those were 3 hard years for GR63, but finally, in 2022, Russell secured a full-time seat at Mercedes. Transitioning from a backmarker to a championship winning car – was the initial goal, but, unfortunately, Mercedes had one of the toughest seasons in a good while. Still, Russell managed to claim his maiden win and if the stars align, he might finally get the season he deserves.
There are many people who Mercedes could thank for their success, but the iron grip of Toto Wolff has helped to elevate this team to new heights. Wolff’s work with Mercedes started in 2013 and we don’t think that he’s planning to step away from his life’s biggest accomplishment anytime soon.
Currently, the technical director in Mercedes is James Allison, who in total has 11 constructors championships under his belt – 5 with Ferrari, 2 with Renault and 4 with Mercedes, so safe to say that there is no lack of brilliance in the current Mercedes team. Continuing with high praises, Mercedes also signed Mick Schumacher as their new reserve/test driver. It’s unfortunate that we won’t see Mick on the track as often as we did last year, but it’s good that his talent will be nicely utilized regardless.
Past and Future
Mercedes have an illustrious and rich auto racing history. They began Grand Prix racing in the 1930s and entered F1 in the 1950s, winning multiple races and championships with the legendary Juan Manuel Fangio behind the wheel. After a horrific accident in Le Mans, Mercedes withdrew from F1 and they only made their return to the pinnacle of motorsport in 2010 after purchasing Brawn GP. The first three years were a bit up and down, but the true brilliance came when the V6 era began in 2014. Mercedes completely embarrassed the competition, securing 8 consecutive constructors championships, until Red Bull and Max Verstappen made their claim to the throne.
All good things come to an end, as Mercedes find themselves in a tough position. Even though Mercedes made some significant improvements at the end of the last season, overall, it was a year to forget, especially for the drivers, whose brains were rattled by the continuous bouncing of the car otherwise known as porpoising. The positive news? The passionate flame for success hasn’t been put out, the team is determined to reclaim their lost might. Mercedes have all the right pieces, it’s only a matter of putting them together the right way.
Mercedes already showed us a glimpse of W14 during their launch event in Silverstone with Russell stepping inside the cockpit for the first run. Although he didn’t go into details, there were plenty of signs of positivity, or at least that’s what Russell said. Of course, he is jokingly known as PR63, so the real talk will be seen on the track when the Bahrain pre-season testing begins on the 23rd of February. After that, the opening race of the season is scheduled for the 5th of March, happening on that same Sakhir circuit in Bahrain.