New Mercedes breaks cover in Jerez 04 Feb 2013
Mercedes have unveiled their 2013 Formula One car, the F1 W04, at the Jerez circuit in Spain. The launch took place after Nico Rosberg had given the new machine a brief shakedown earlier in the day for filming purposes.
According to the team, the basic concept of the F1 W04 is a sophisticated evolution of last years car. Its design was led by engineering director Aldo Costa, under the coordination of technical director Bob Bell.
2013 marks the start of a second era for our Silver Arrows works team, said Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn. The restructuring we undertook at the team over the past 18 months are now growing in maturity and this is reflected in the F1 W04, which is a clear step forward in design and detail sophistication over its predecessor.
Many thousands of hours of work have been invested by our technical teams in Brackley and Brixworth to ensure that the new car delivers a step change in performance compared to last season.
Initial aerodynamic testing for the F1 W04 began in early summer 2012 and has resulted in a new five-element front wing design and a second-generation Coanda exhaust at the rear of the car. The car retains pushrod front suspension and a pullrod rear suspension (which the teams says is to optimise tyre life and performance), while the rear end has been aggressively packaged to optimise aerodynamic development potential.
Mercedes have also followed in the footsteps of several other teams in ditching the stepped nose design of last years car in favour of a small vanity panel, which was found to offer a small gain during aerodynamic testing.
Mercedes will field a new driver line-up for the first time in three years in 2013, with Lewis Hamilton joining the team from McLaren to replace Michael Schumacher.
We are hugely proud to welcome Lewis to the team as a works Mercedes-Benz driver, said Brawn. With Lewis and Nico, we have what I believe to be the strongest driver line-up in Formula One and I know that a healthy level of competition between them both will help drive the team forward.
Rosberg, who took his maiden Formula One victory at last years Chinese Grand Prix, said the new car had performed well when tested in the teams simulator.
The car seems to be performing well in the virtual world but we have a very busy and intense programme ahead of us during testing to make sure we can deliver that performance on track, he said. The atmosphere in the team is very positive and the people are highly motivated to succeed. And, of course, I have a new team-mate with Lewis. Its his first time in the Silver Arrow and I look forward to working together and pushing each other hard, to make this the best team in Formula One.
Hamilton, who is the first British works Mercedes driver since Sir Stirling Moss in 1955, echoed his new team mates sentiments.
Ive been at the factory getting to know the guys, meeting my mechanics and engineers, learning myself into the team and I have never seen a group of people that is hungrier for success than this one, said the 28-year-old Briton. They have been flat out this winter trying to pack more performance into the new car and I cant wait to drive it and see where I can make a difference to help push the team forward with Nico.
Mercedes has gone through some major changes over the winter with long-time motorsport chief Norbert Haug stepping back and Toto Wolff joining from Williams as his replacement. Despite being at the team for little more than two weeks, Wolff says he is optimistic for the new season.
"In the fortnight since I joined the team, I have been impressed by what I have found, he said. The people are highly motivated, open-minded and determined to succeed. Our drivers are hungry for success, too, and it will certainly be fascinating this season to see how Nico and Lewis perform together. Ultimately, though, Formula One is very straightforward and the only thing that counts is lap time.
The F1 W04 will now complete 12 days of pre-season testing prior to the Australian Grand Prix on March 17. Rosberg will drive the car on the first day of the Jerez test on Tuesday with Hamilton to get his first run for his new team on Wednesday.
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