F1: Mercedes has fired up their new W14 car

After dominating the Formula 1 World Championship with eight successive world titles ever since the turbo hybrid era began in 2014, Mercedes had a rather abysmal 2022 season. Considerably struggling with the new F1 technical regulations that saw the return of the ‘ground effect’, the constructor only won a single race – the penultimate one of the season – and merely came in third in the constructor standings behind Red Bull and Ferrari. Ahead of the new season, Mercedes are convinced they will make a strong return to the circuit in the 2023 title race. They just fired up their new machine, the W14, which is supposed to have a ‘new DNA’ and enable them to race back to the top standings. Will they return to form and be one of the title contenders this season?

Bouncing struggles throughout 2022

2022 marked the first year since 2014 where Mercedes failed to win a world championship title. With the introduction of a new set of technical regulations, Mercedes faced challenges with their all-new car concept that suffered greatly from excessive porpoising. The new ground effect models which were designed to produce maximum downforce caused violent bouncing of the car on the track that hadn’t shown up in the constructor’s simulations and rendered the new model unworkable. Mercedes suffered worse from the return of the ground effect than others, and ended up only winning one race throughout the entire season. As the team was working hard throughout the year to address the issues and find and understand the car’s flaws, they were able to make improvements and updates. Towards the end of the season, Mercedes gained a more encouraging form and finally made it atop the podium with a 1-2 finish in Brazil when George Russell stormed to his first-ever Formula 1 win ahead of 7-time world champ and teammate Lewis Hamilton – it was only the penultimate event of the season.

A new DNA for Mercedes’ 2023 car

Will the constructor be able to address all the W13’s flaws and shortcomings in their new W14 car? Mercedes recently revealed a short teaser video of their 2023 car, lovingly named ‘W14 first words’. While no clues about the design and potential changes were revealed, the video showed the factory staff working on the car and let viewers hear the W14 engine roar for the first time as Mercedes fired it up at Brackley. The constructor hasn’t revealed what the new design will exactly be, however, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said the car would have an entirely new DNA. Taking the lessons from the uncharacteristically unsuccessful 2022 season, the team went in a new direction with their new model, changing the architecture of the car to put them back in the race.

A fresh start for the 2023 season

The Silver Arrows are convinced they will be able to make a strong recovery in 2023 and rejoin the F1 title race. Their improved form at the end of the season boosted hopes they might be able to bounce back. While the car will have a new DNA, the Silver Arrows will return to the circuit with the same drivers, as Lewis Hamilton and George Russell embark on their second season together as teammates. The 2023 race calendar will kick off in Middle Eastern Bahrain with pre-season testing races from February 23 to 25 ahead of the official opening race taking place in the same venue between March 3 and 5.

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The Silver Arrows will still have a rather large performance deficit to champions Red Bull Racing to make it back to the top. However, according to predictions by experts, their odds of rejoining the title race are good. Bookmakers publish their odds for the F1 World Championship among many other sports on top online betting sites for players from around the world. According to their calculations and predictions, which are updated regularly, Mercedes are second favorites for the 2023 Constructors’ Championship with 2.375 odds, following closely behind defending champion Red Bull with 2.00 odds (date: 11.01.). Looking at the Drivers’ Championship, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton is in second place behind champion Max Verstappen, with Mercedes teammate George Russell following in fourth place behind Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

Will the Silver Arrows return to form in their brand-new W14 car in 2023? The team believes they will be in a strong place to make a recovery this year after the lessons and developments from the last season. The race to the top will begin in March.

About the author: Cory Weinberg

"Student. Subtly charming organizer. Certified music advocate. Writer. Lifelong troublemaker. Twitter lover."

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