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New Mercedes breaks cover in Jerez shakedown
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Posted By: James Allen  |  04 Feb 2013   |  11:39 am GMT  |  108 comments

The new Mercedes broke cover this morning in Jerez, as Nico Rosberg shook it down ahead of the launch this afternoon and testing tomorrow.

The car, known as the F1 W04, is described as a “sophisticated evolution” of last year’s model and was officially launched this afternoon with Team principal Ross Brawn promising a “step change in performance” compared to the disappointing 2012 car.

“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,” said Brawn. “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.”

We will produce a detailed technical analysis of the car with pictures later today.

One immediately noticeable logo on the side of the car is Blackberry. According to the team, “BlackBerry will collaborate with the team on technical and marketing opportunities. The new BlackBerry 10 platform will deliver tools and services for MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS and fan engagement will be improved through the joint development of apps.”

More details from Mercedes later.

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  1. aveli says:

    this car looks less complicated than the 2013 force india but it’s performance may not be related to how complex it looks.

    1. David says:

      As a design student the mantra we were taught was KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid).

    2. Sebee says:

      I know the pictures aren’t perfect, but I’m not seeing ‘fluidity’ in this car like in some of the other cars. Could just be the livery, or maybe it is not a sum of it’s parts.

      OK Sebee…settle down now…less than 24 hours till testing. Yeah!

  2. Timmay says:


    Lewie is stuck using a Blackberry for a few years.

    1. Chromatic says:

      years? could be. Doctors gave BB twelve months to innovate itself out of intensive care, 10 may be the answer [??]

      1. Jack says:

        haha yeah exactly, they’ll have to look for a new sponsor by Austin!

      2. Andrew M says:

        An entity that has had some glory in the past but has recently flattered to deceive and has been left behind by its rivals. The next few years will be crucial; if it doesn’t find something to challenge its rivals consistently it may way be gone for good.

        Seems like Blackberry and Mercedes F1 are a good corporate fit at any rate.

    2. MC says:

      I saw a photo of him on gpupdate.net where it appears he is taking a picture with a Blackberry 10.

  3. Graham says:

    Its getting expensive being a Lewis hamilton fan, new cap,new top and now I need to buy a new phone!!!
    One more thing, how are we going to tell which is lewis and which is nico if they both got yellow helmets? Commentators worst nightmare.

    1. Colombia Concalvez says:


    2. Bruce says:

      Just to say that the Blackberry phone I had was the worst phone I have ever had!
      I’ve now got the Galaxy S3 which is a treat!

      1. Doctub says:

        The new BB10 OS is excellent, check it out next time your upgrading.

    3. David says:

      Sticking with my iPhone.

    4. Timmay says:

      Lewie will be in the top 7 (6 sometimes) while Nico will usually be in about 12th position like last year.

      1. Aren’t you confusing Nico with his former stablemate?

    5. Rohan says:

      Easy, Lewis will always be the one in front!

  4. Femi Akins says:

    Fav Driver – LH
    Fav Phone – BB

    Both at a crossroads.

    This could go well or be a mess.

  5. Doctub says:

    Car looks aggressive and purposeful – glad to see Blackberry involved in F1.

    1. KGBVD says:

      And Robert Wickens is a Mercedes factory DTM driver and a member of their young drivers squad.

      Maybe a reserve drive for the young Canadian?

      1. David says:

        He might even be from SW Ontario where BB is home.

      2. KGBVD says:

        He is.

        A Guelph boy, about 30 mins down the 401 from Blackberry’s home in Waterloo.

  6. Janis says:

    a very short nose on it. Quite unlike the Ferrari, and to a lesser extent the others.
    Very interesting!

    1. Spyros says:

      This was my first thought, too! A freakishly short nose

    2. Random 79 says:

      Not only short, but from the side it looks like it might be pointed as well.

      1. Araqiel says:

        I think this shot may be a little deceptive – chek out the other angles here (http://www.yallaf1.com/2013/02/04/new-mercedes-w04-breaks-cover-early-with-blackberry-on-board/) and it looks pretty similar to last year’s nose.

      2. Random 79 says:

        Nah, just checked out the overhead shots: It’s curved.

  7. goferet says:

    Different take on 2013 by the Mercedes team I see and the most noticeable thing about the new car is it’s nose cone. It appears to be shorter than any car launched so far and when seen from the side, appears like it’s about to fall off thanks to the large front wing.

    But judging from the excitement that’s been going on at Mercedes for instance their social media bliss announcing their launch then I would say, the team are pretty confident of their chances this season.


    For some reason the letters F1WO4 keep reminding me of Newey’s FW14 from his Williams days back in the 90s

    1. Seán Craddock says:

      I was thinking that as well! I thought! I’m trying to figure out what the W stands for. Very similar naming style to Williams’

      1. Sandeep says:

        The W stands for “Works” denoting its the works team of Mercedes.

      2. Grabsplatter says:

        The W stands for Wagen. The numbering system is based on the pre-war system.

      3. KRB says:

        Yes, W is for Wagen.

  8. Mahmood Bello says:

    The rear of the car looks really interesting. I heard rumours about them developing a new gearbox that was smaller. I just hope the car runs well.

    1. Sossoliso says:

      If they have a smaller GearBox.. can’t say it appears to have made much of a packaging difference. That Car looks markedly bigger than RB, McLaren and mostly Sauber. Looks very untidy at the back. Very untidy indeed.

      1. KRB says:

        Agreed. Doesn’t look tight at all, like the McLaren or RB. Underwhelmed by the W04.

        Do they have a sponsorship deal with Monster? I thought it’d be great to get some neon on the car. I really dislike the Petronas teal colour … just does nothing for me.

        Also, the Mercedes overalls are just very bland. And it’s not like you have to add much … McLaren’s just have the red mid-section (even though they look stupid on a taller driver like Button, making him look like he’s “all legs”, etc.).

        Keep the Mercedes German racing silver, nice big red numbers on a big white circle. More red and black accents. Think the Kaiser’s Germany.

  9. Richard says:

    Well it’s difficult to say, but the front wing looks interesting so looking forward to Gary Anderson’s analysis of the car compared to other leading teams, but it seems as though McLaren have done the most work, however appearances are deceptive as it’s all in the detail.

    1. AuraF1 says:

      Or mclaren have been the most open?

      What chances of red bull basically launching an entirely different car at the final test again?

      1. Andrew Carter says:

        Bolting on one extra bit doesnt make for an entirely new car.

      2. AuraF1 says:

        It was a bit more than bolting on one bit.

    2. AndyK says:

      Gary Anderson seems fairly underwhelmed by the design

      1. Richard says:

        Yes so I see, but let’s wait and see how it actually performs. Much depends on how easy the tyre balance is to achieve, and they have changed again this year. While McLaren appear to have done all the right things judging by appearances let’s not pre-judge the situation. The thing to bare in mind is that all the cars will change before the first race.

      2. tim says:

        Last year’s Mercedes was more innovative than this one, it appears. This is an evolution. But an evolution of a car that wasn’t really deserving to remain in the gene pool, perhaps.

      3. James Clayton says:

        He was underwhelmed with last year’s McLaren too, if I remember correctly.

  10. goferet says:

    In addition, am glad to see Mercedes not make the same mistake as last season of not having the car ready for the first test.

    With these Pirelli tyres, teams need all the time on track to try and figure them out more so since as the 2013 ones will degrade much faster than the 2012 ones and yes, Mercedes were the hardest on their rubber.

  11. Ed says:

    Looks very interesting at the front end, and the side pods look neat from what I can see from that photo.

    One thing about the front wing/nose cone is it looks very vulnerable – other cars can afford a slight nurf with the tip of the nose, do that with this car and the wing will be under the car in front’s wheels

    1. aezy_doc says:

      I don’t think it’s any more vulnerable than other cars. I’m not sure how much ‘protection’ the nose affords. Most of the time the wing strikes a tyre of the car in front and so the nose doesn’t act as a bumper!
      Having said that, the end of the nose might act as a reference to where the wing ends so Mercedes might be more vulnerable to these types of incident – though Lewis in particular is no stranger to crashing in this way!

    2. Simmo says:

      They were my thoughts exactly about the front wing, one clip and it’ll be destroyed.

  12. Runar says:


    Offtopic, but does anyone know if there will be any livetiming at this years tests? I think i saw something last year but cant remember which website. Maybe James could have such an feature on hes:)

    1. SimonR says:

      If you follow the twitter feed on the connect site you’ll find plenty of people posting them

      1. Runar says:

        Got it, big thanks.

  13. Anne says:

    Why do teams test cars under the excuse of filming? Sorry they don´t fool me with the filming, publicity or whatever. Although they do only a couple of laps it is a little testing. The driver has a sense of what´s going on with the car. McLaren did it yesterday in a circuit near Barcelona.

    1. Andrew Carter says:

      It’s called a shackedown test, its to make sure all the parts actually work since it is a completely brand new car. The filming is just an extra bit of filming on top.

      If you’re reffering to the actual filming days they do during the year, they run them at barely half speed, to consider that a test is ludicrous.

      1. Anne says:

        If they want to make sure the parts work they can find that out in the actual test. That´s why we have preseason testing. Sorry I don´t like extra test outside the schedule. That should not be allowed. I don´t care if they are filming or not

      2. David says:

        Not sure, but I read somewhere else that they’re limited by how fast they can run.

      3. Andrew Carter says:

        No, these extra days are in the rules, they have a certain amount that can be used for filming, shakedowns and straight line aero testing.

        The official testing is there for performance evaluation, a shakedown is to make sure everything is built right and fits together properly and forms a very important part of the process.

      4. Twiinzspeed says:

        Hi Anne, this is not a slight to you, but not testing is a joke. These are race cars. The idea that they have to do all the work in simulation sucks. Racing cars requires driving them. This F1 formula without testing should be called Formula Sims. Like the game my wife plays. :) I miss the old days when we would get news that the race drivers and testers were working non stop to tune a new solution for the next race. If the lower teams can’t afford to test, they should mover to another series. Why couldn’t they say only rookies and reserves can do the testing? Besides, how are the young guys supposed to come to grips with the cars if they don’t drive em???

      5. Anne says:

        I´m not against testing. Only the way they do it. Look, if F1 and FIA requiere mandatory testing during the entire month of February. I have no problem. But I don´t feel confortable with some surprinsing or somewhat unschedule testing here and there despite the fact that they only do a few laps and it is not the equivalent to real testing. It is still testing to some degree.

      6. tom in adelaide says:

        The same rules apply to all the teams. None of them have an issue with it. How does this negatively impact you as an F1 fan?

      7. KRB says:

        Yeah, half the speed on promo tires. They’re only good as installation laps, likely.

    2. Peter says:

      Do they do the publicity work on actual real 2013 spec tyres? If so, then it is a bit questionable. If not, the data is worthless.

      1. Andrew Carter says:

        No, Pirelli have special demonstration tyres that used for all car running outside of GP weekends and official tests.

  14. Henrik says:

    Regarding the nose: Have a look at the tyres. This picture is taken with a heavily distorting wide angle lens, possibly even a fisheye. This really screws up the perspective and makes the front wing look like it is far in front of the nose cone. The car doesnt look at all like this in real life.

    1. Random 79 says:

      Good point, should have read that before I commented earlier, but I guess very soon we’ll see for sure.

  15. Kevin Irwin says:

    The rear of the car is much more interesting for me, the plateau with the high exit exhausts which seem to face down and in, added to that the massive undercut on the sidepods leading to the plateau, three winglets near the mirror attaching air to the top of the sidepod leading to the plateau, two winglets outer edge of sidepod upper surface directing airflow to exhaust outlet, very different beast.

  16. alex says:

    Doesn’t look to be anything too interesting here. it has a mclaren style coanda exhaust system but as far as I can see doesn’t have an incorportated faring over one of the rear wishbones and drive-shaft. Devil must be in the detail i guess then!

  17. JEZ Playense says:

    How much will this Merc resemble the actual one on the grid remains to be seen (same to apply to the other top teams).

    The first race will show who is where. It will be a major shock to most if Merc are able to upset the top four straight out of the box.

    The most interesting thing from Team AMG for me will be whether Lewis can out qualify Nico…

  18. I know nothing about engineering. But based on instinct, this car looks slow to me. Front wings with wavy curves have been slow, while choppy and compartmentalised (i.e. Red Bull) front wings have been quick.

    Silly. But true!

    1. Nathan Jones says:

      I bet Ross Brawn is taking notes even as I type: **mutter, mutter … oh, yeah, and must tell Aldo to stop putting wavy curves on the front wing. Don’t like ‘em. Don’t know what CFD system he was using when he came up with them, but they’re just wrong.”

  19. Michael P says:

    I just read that Rory Byrne is working full time on designing the Ferrari F1 car for 2014.

    1. Anne says:

      And that´s 100% correct.

      1. Arno Nonymous says:

        Rory is back, great!

    2. Stephen Taylor says:

      On what website? Give us a link please

  20. Daniel Rudge says:

    The rear wing is way forward on the chassis. One would think the rear cowl will stick out back. It seems as though Merc have tried to possition the wing over the exaust.. Its deffinatly very different to the other cars.

  21. Charles says:

    What if this car is the “one” and will compete with the best. Would everybody blame Schumacher or praise Hamilton … just wondering ??

    1. Richard says:

      Well who knows, but as good as Schumacher was in his hayday he is past his sell by date. I suspect Lewis is the faster driver anyway, but I would not underestimate Nico as he has proven that given the right car he can deliver.

      1. Quade says:

        We keep forgetting that Lewis and Nico have been team mates in a lower formula. Lewis was faster and its a bet that he’s still much faster (even with the new artificial tyre nonsense that has flattered the likes of Perez and other tyre whisperers).

      2. Richard says:

        Yes indeed, but individuals develop at different rates depending on environment. What was interesting last year was that in the later races when the harder more durable compounds were being used we had some proper racing again.

    2. Craig says:

      That really depends on how closely match Lewis and Nico are – this is one of the most interesting aspects of 2013 for me.

      If Lewis blows Nico away to get to the front then you could blame both Nico and Michael for not being quick enough, but I doubt this will happen.

      If they are both at the front and very closely matched then you can put it down to this seasons car being better.

      Also if they are very closely matched it will make Michaels performances over the past few years look even more respectable.

    3. Anon says:

      People will look at his performances relative to Rosberg, Rosberg outscored Michael in 3 seasons out of 3 so if Hamilton beats Nico then obviously Michael isn’t quite what he used to be.

    4. Simmo says:

      I personally would do neither. I would praise Mercedes.

  22. F1 for life says:

    Last years W03 had reached the development phase and could not carry further developments as the car was a tyre chewer. If Mercedes had developed the W03 then maybe they could have achieved further, but then the teams were struggling to understand the tyres. They required a 60% scale wind tunnel model to correlate with the tyres etc.

    One key point for 2013 is that Aldo Costa ex-Ferrari technical designer has worked on the car as well as Ross Brawn. Lets hope that the W04 will carry Lewis Hamilton and his team mate forward for now and within the development race, as this year is all about.

    I do agree that the car has sharper front nose with the vanity cover. The front wing looks totally new with a element. The exhausts are a take from Mclaren’s Mp4-27. The Side pods and the roll hoop body cell looks to drive air to the rear wind and maybe the beam…..I will leave the full technical analysis on our friend James Allen.

    James will you be following the testing live with some live reports?…thanks again.

    1. F1 for life says:

      Wind should be wing and totally new with a element should read totally new 5 element wing. Sorry guys

    2. Michael A. says:

      It’s hard to believe that this car has fundamentally changed from last year. I really do hope that here’s more to it than meets the eye and/or that this is far from the final car they will take to Oz.

  23. DB says:

    That nose looks short only to me?

  24. C Lin says:

    James, will you be at Jerez over the next four days of testing?

    Which car(s) will be quick? What is your gut- feel?


    1. Mike says:

      Not sure?

      Not sure?

      A bit floppy so I’m off to the gym – sorry, couldn’t resist.

  25. Alex says:

    Is the BLackberry deal a Mark of Lewis’s commercial appea? Also does anyone know who’s driving and when this week?

    1. KRB says:

      I hope Blackberry can get back into the game, but it’s gonna be tough for them. If they can’t get back up over 5% market share, then they will not survive as an independent company.

      Nico runs Tues and Thurs; Lewis Wed and Fri.

  26. alam says:

    Hi James,

    Am I correct in understanding the tyres that Nico used today was on DEMO tyres not the new ones from Pirelli?

    Secondly, Pirelli have stated that the new tyres “switch on quicker and have a wider foot print”. Which driver to you think will benefit from this more?


    1. James Allen says:

      Not sure on PT1, will check. I’d imagine that the rules stipulate what tyres you can use for a shakedown. (it wasn’t a demo, so they weren’t demo tyres)

      Pt2 I think it will help Button, who’s admitted that he has problems warming up the tyres in quali.

      1. alam says:

        Yes, I forgot about Button, I can see him getting on with the new tyres and being able to utilize them better.

        Thanks for you’re though’s James.

  27. Dmitry says:

    Errrm, am I alone thinking new Mercedes car looks clumsy?

    Of course it was just a launch, but as much as I was amazed at new McLaren – I am as much disappointed with new Mercedes.

  28. Mike says:

    Oops – that should have been a reply to post 25 above.

  29. KGBVD says:


    Thought’s on a Mercedes-Blackberry-Robert Wickens connection?

    He is a factory young driver after all.

    1. James Allen says:

      I hope so. He’s one of the really talented guys left behind by Marko’s driver development system

  30. Mitchel says:

    But the big question is:

    When is Back To The Future 4 released?

    1. Peter says:

      Flux capacitors were banned back in ’88 when cars started finishing races before they started them.

      1. Random 79 says:

        …and I thought I had a lot of time on my hands…

      2. Davexxx says:

        good one! ;-)

  31. Chris says:

    Does anyone else think the W04 looks awful? I know it’s about function over form, but the other teams managed both. Maybe Mercedes should’ve called Sauber for some advice…

    1. James Clayton says:

      We don’t know what *any* of the teams have managed yet in regards to function!

      But yes, this car looks ugly.

  32. Val from montreal says:

    What an ugly F1 looking car – Schumacher had to re-sign for 2 extra years for him to be driving this ?? Is it just me or does this car got LESS sponsers now ??

  33. anooj says:

    Regarding the BlackBerry connection, the senior management at RIM are big F1 fans. The CEO is a Mercedes fan as he drives a SLS AMG and he even referenced Schumacher & Ferrari’s turnaround when giving an town-hall speech to employees discussing the turnaround of BlackBerry.

    The new BlackBerry 10 is supposedly pretty cool and shares nothing in common with the old BlackBerry’s beyond the name.

    Has Ross Brawn said anything regarding his future at Mercedes? Was he asked?

  34. Steven says:

    All the armchair designers amuse me LOL If you any of you knew anything you might be working for a F1 team. The best one was the one that said that the car was ugly LMAO!! Lets wait and see how all the cars go, the way I see it, the car was so bad last year that they can only make it better.

  35. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    The car looks simple,
    Brawn said it is step change in performance compared to last season,
    They said it is a sophisticated evolution,
    Hamilton said it is not too bad…

    So, it looks like a sophisticated simple car not too bad compared with a bad car, in a team with excited people and a dog, with computers not working properly for the fans in the online launching day, with a no clear management for the near future, and a roller-coaster new sponsor.

    But we got Roscoe and Nicole stories to come, a lot!!!

    Well, I’ll be patient too.


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