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New Mercedes breaks cover in Jerez shakedown
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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Tornillo Amarillo

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.


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.


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?

Val from montreal

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 ??


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…


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

But yes, this car looks ugly.


But the big question is:

When is Back To The Future 4 released?


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


good one! 😉


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



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

He is a factory young driver after all.


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


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


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.


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?



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.


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.


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


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.


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

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



Not sure?

Not sure?

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


That nose looks short only to me?


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.


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.


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


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


I personally would do neither. I would praise Mercedes.


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.


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.


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.


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).


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.


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.


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


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!


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.”


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…


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!


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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


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.


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


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


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?


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.


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???


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.


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



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:)


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


Got it, big thanks.

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