Enter the challenger: Mercedes launches the car it hopes will take it to the top
Posted By: James Allen  |  28 Jan 2014   |  9:18 am GMT  |  77 comments

Mercedes this morning rolled out the Silver Arrow W05 that it hopes will be shooting for victory this season. The first Mercedes of the post-Ross Brawn era was unveiled by the new management team of Toto Wolff and Paddy Lowe, with the drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.

Mercedes has been steadily building up for this moment. The engine department, based a few miles from the team’s HQ near Northampton, has been working for a long time on the hybrid small capacity power plant that is going to be such a huge part of success this season. Performance, efficiency and reliability are the three boxes to tick and there has been a feeling for some time in F1 engineering circles that this package will be the one to beat at the start of this revolutionary year.

Time will tell.

But on the chassis side too, Mercedes has been hiring experienced engineers and building up its resources to challenge Red Bull’s hegemony of the sport, which has lasted four unbroken years.

Last season the breakthrough came with a series of wins in the summer, but the second half of the season was less productive.

Nevertheless the feeling that this is the team with the momentum and after missing the sweet spot regularly since his 2008 world title, Hamilton is desperate for this car to be a title challenger.

Team mate Rosberg won twice last year had the stronger end to the season, so he will have to be watched carefully. He is also a more in-depth, engineering led driver and that could be an important factor this year with these complex new technologies.

“This year will be much more complex with all the new technologies and I think it’s great,” said the German. “It will help make the sport really contemporary. It’s all focused on being more fuel efficient and using Hybrid energy, which for me is a good route and something that will make the racing even more interesting.”

Rosberg shook the car down at Silverstone last week ahead of the first serious testing in Jerez. Reliability will be the main focus of the first tests, with performance coming later once the new technologies and the cooling are stabilised.

“We have positive momentum after our second-place finish last season,” said Wolff. “Our clear target is to continue building up our team and we aim to deliver on every single race weekend in 2014.”

Hamilton was impressed with the car’s appearance, “It looks just fantastic, so aggressive but full of really nice details as well. I am excited to find out how the new Power Unit feels to drive, to hear how it sounds from the cockpit and to compare the job we have done relative to the competition. I think this is probably the season with the most unknowns that I have faced in my career and that’s just so exciting for all of us.”

Mercedes is running a message of support for its former driver and current ambassador Michael Schumacher, who is still in a coma a month after his head injury while skiing.

The Mercedes W05 carries a message #KeepFightingMichael at the Jerez test.

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I think this Merc looks very pretty and purposeful. Reminds of me the 2005 Renault R25 and 2009 Brawn BGP1 in terms of simplicity of line and elegance. Silver livery looks great too. I’ve got a gut feeling about Merc for 2014. Good budget, good facilities, good aero department and good engine/chassis communication. There seems to be a good momentum at Merc. Reminds me a bit of late 2004 going into 2005 when Renault and Macca had late season momentum and between them dominated the 2005 season. And Nico and Lewis are on the payroll too. I think Lewis switched to Merc for three reasons: firstly, a big juicy salary increase, secondly to be reunited with his old mucker Nico, and thirdly he could see the potential of the engine/aero combination for these new turbo cars. Let’s see. Not tempting fate, but if it looks right and all that…………..also think the Red Bull looks pretty as well. Thank god Merc and Adrian have given F1 at least four good looking cars to look at!


A nice looking car, but it seems odd that the front wing is forward of the nose where everyone else has the nose in front of the wing. I wonder what the regs say about that? I also wonder if this design won’t be more prone to front wing damage.


Great looking car and I really hope shes fast too, look good out there today compared to others until the wing fell off. Hopefully the microscopic looking pylon/mount will be beefed up for Nico in time for tomorrow!

James, if Merc could make the new rules work AND create a nice looking front end how come some many others have failed? (Caterham and Toro Rosso are just wrong by comparison)


Since the Merc has a nose that actually looks like it belongs in F1, we have to nickname it by its horns. Horny?


James, are you saying Mercedes are favorites?


It’s too early to say, but the momentum is with them and they are very confident about their hybrid power train


Since James did not mention the Mercedes tribute to Michael in his report, let me quote from the AP :

“Formula One may be entering a new era in 2014 but the Mercedes and Ferrari teams chose to pay homage to the man who remains the benchmark for the sport on the first day of pre-season testing.

Seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher, who finished his career with Mercedes in 2012, remains in hospital in a medically-induced coma after a skiing accident at the end of December.

The new Mercedes car — the first 2014 car out on track Tuesday at the Jerez circuit in Spain — ran with the message “Keep Fighting Michael,” on its silver livery.

We have a very special message on our car this week in Jerez. Join the support #KeepFightingMichael pic.twitter.com/hepCGmJUqH

— MERCEDES AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) January 27, 2014The Ferrari team, who Schumacher raced for between 1996 and 2006, also showed their support for their five-time world champion in Spain.

On the eve of the first day of winter testing, the team’s crew posed with a pit board showing the message “Forza Michael” while the new F14-T scarlet racer made its track debut in Jerez with the same words of encouragement.

Ferrari plan to post 72 messages of support for Schumacher on their website to represent each of his wins with the Italian team.”

It truly is a touching display of support and camaradarie by the 2 teams he’s been closest to.

Valentino from montreal

James not mentioning Schumacher ?

What a surprise !!!

Thank u Zombie for the extra info : ))


The Merc is easily the best looking car I’ve seen – not hard when you think what some of the opposition looks like! But how will it compare where it counts – on the track? I honestly can’t wait, roll on March 16th 🙂


Some things look odd here:

The nose front contact point is behind the leading edge of the wing, thus the wing must be immediately lost on first contact to allow the collapsible nose to do it’s job. The floor is showing a fair degree of rake, but the front wing is way up in the air. The tray is almost on the deck and would bottom out if the wing got to a normal position.

There are no pics of the rear.

As mentioned above the sidepod inlet apertures are surprisingly small.


You may have a point. It lost it’s wing right after setting fastest lap. No reason given yet but I’m sure it has the folks in the garage giving each other concerned looks.


If we get to the start of the European season and there are rumblings of the team looking towards 2015, I’d hope there would be serious changes from Mercedes to the makeup of the team.

For the last decade the team (under BAR, Honda, and recently as Merc) have been saying that “next season” will be there year. After dismissing 2013 before the season even started, they need to perform this year as there are no more excuses.


“as there are no more excuses”

I’m sure they’ll find some if needed….


They seemed to do OK in 2009!!!!


I don’t get it, people find dolphin nose better in silver than red? Today Newey spoke for every single supporter of F1 regarding this year regulations and car noses.


I have a question. I’ve seen two types of nose so far; the anteater/dolphin ones with a protrusion ahead of the wing (Mc Laren, Williams, Toro Rosso, even Lotus can be included despite the two tips) and the dustbuster ones (Ferrari and Mercedes). The latter ones don’t have a protrusion at the end. What are the regulations concerning this, and why the other teams opted for a tip at the front of the wing?


Minimum nose tip height regulation – vs teams wanting the front of the car to be as high as legally possible for aerodynamic reasons. So from the driver forward they go high high high high LOW skinny bit


Stunning and slick looking from the angles shown.


No doubt about it, from a pre-race aesthetic (nobody knows who will win), this is the least ugly car so far, though a full view of the Lotus may be better.


It was, until Red Bull broke cover on the RB10.


and the mercedes is STill the best looking car !


Ferrari still the best overall, but I like the Mercedes (bar the paint job, which like the Force India looks a bit of a mess).

I am heavily excited about all this newness


I thought the weight limit only an issue for the tallest drivers. Looking at this picture and a *really* skinny LH, weight must be a major issue for all of the grid.


Drivers don’t have to be as fit & strong as 10 years ago. By their own admission they drive at 80% these days for the full race distance. 2014 will be even worse due to fuel saving requirements. Formula Endurance.


Thank you Mr Willis what a nice car. Pity Ross is not there to share the spoils.


Looks the best of the pack this year and nicer than Mercs cars of the past few seasons too.


Thank goodness Merc have gone Ferrari’s route, I was getting worried we’d only have 1 team with a decent looking car on the grid.


Never fear, go and have a look at the Lotus for a decent looking car.


I saw the broken tuning fork Lotus the other day. It looks better than the ridiculous finger noses, but I dislike it’s lack of symmetry I.e 1 nose prong is shorter.


Just watched the Merc launch video. Noticed that Rosberg had a black helmet with Monster art work in green. I wonder if he is going to use it he same this year, instead of the yellow one that he used last.


camera mounts remind me of the BMW-Sauber nose wings on Kubica’s car.


In the official photos I’ve just seen the sidepod intakes are much smaller than the rest of the field. Any insight on that?


The nose looks somewhat similar to Ferrari. Probably they are on the same line of thinking.

Whether the powerful engine is economical on fuel is yet to be seen.


more like a member of fia gave Ferrari a look at merc blueprints when submitted


Another vacuum so Ferrari has company.


Great looking car. Some pieces look like they’re testing the limits, but I hope they pass. Chassis doesn’t look very high though. Maybe they’ve figured out a different way to work the airflow with the lower nose than the more obvious solutions.


Amazing!! Looks like the 2 big Manufacturer teams have come up with beautiful cars.

The Ferrari looks more beautiful on track though even though it just stopped after 5 corners 😛

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