Mercedes has unveiled its 2022 car during a launch event at Silverstone, with a unique front wing solution compared to the other designs seen so far.
The W13 was revealed on Friday morning before a planned shakedown at the home of the British Grand Prix, although storms in the United Kingdom could limit that running. Lewis Hamilton and George Russell were on hand to launch the new car that shows a nose that reaches the main front element but all of the front wing elements slim dramatically towards the nose to improve airflow to the floor.
There are clear channels at the front of the floor visible as well — a key area open for development for all teams as ground effect returns this year — while the rear end is tightly packaged in a move that technical director Mike Elliott says was particularly challenging.
“Getting to the desired aero shapes has meant a complete internal repackaging, right down to the electrical layout and where we fit things like the ECU,” Elliott said. “The suspension has been redesigned to account for the loss of hydraulics and remote springs, now banned in the new regulations.
“Hopefully, you will also see that we have taken another step with how tightly packaged the sidepods and engine cover are. To get to this is not just a shrink-wrapping exercise but requires a huge amount of redesign and simulation to make it work.”
Team principal Toto Wolff says the new car has seen the team working at an even higher level than he has witnessed in the past.
“Ever since work on W13 began, I have seen an excited enthusiasm in our team members like never before, thanks to the scale of opportunity that these technical regulations provide,” Wolff said. “Towards the end of the year when the car build project truly came together, I felt a deep passion across the whole organization, not only in the technical arena but across our bases at Brackley and Brixworth who were embracing a mindset of ‘we can do this.’
“We did pretty well during the last big regulatory change into the hybrid era and performed well when we went from the narrow to the wide cars in 2017. While we have a good track record, my message is clear: we can’t rely on past success for this year’s performance, but we can rely on our people, our culture, our structure, and our mindset to do the best possible job for 2022.”