Mercedes goes back to black with W14

Mercedes goes back to black with W14

Formula 1

Mercedes goes back to black with W14


Mercedes has returned to a black livery as it launches its 2023 car — the W14 — at Silverstone.

The Black Lives Matter movement played a major role in Mercedes switching to a black base design in 2020, as the team signaled its commitment to increasing diversity by deviating from its previous silver look. Last year it returned to its traditional silver color scheme but the W14 marks another change, with a predominantly black livery used once again.

Many teams have opted to increase the black aspects of their designs this season in order to save weight, as they are able to run bare carbon rather than black paint.

“We were overweight last year,” team principal Toto Wolff said. “This year we have tried to figure out where we can squeeze out every single gram. So now, history repeats itself. You will see that the car has some raw carbon bits, along with some that are painted matte black.

“Of course, when we changed the livery in 2020 the main driving factor was to support the diversity and equality causes which are always close to our heart. The color black became part of our DNA at that point, so we are pleased to return to it,”

Mercedes has stuck with its slim sidepod design that was the focal point of a concept that was hard to tame in 2022, as the team struggled with porpoising for much of the season and only picked up one victory courtesy of George Russell in Brazil at the penultimate round.

Russell will enter his second season at the team alongside Lewis Hamilton, with the seven-time world champion coming off his first-ever winless year in Formula 1 as Mercedes finished third in the constructors’ championship behind Red Bull and Ferrari.

“Our hopes and expectations are always to be capable of fighting for a world championship,” Wolff added. “However, our competitors were very strong last year, and we are playing catch-up. Racing at the front requires resilience, teamwork, and determination. We face up to every challenge, we put the team first, and we will leave no stone unturned in the chase for every millisecond. This year, we are going all in to get back in front.”