As an accredited media outlet for the Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 team, I’ve waited anxiously for two things since the farse at Abu Dhabi. One was the confirmation that Lewis Hamilton would return for the 2022 season and secondly waiting patienetly for the launch of the 2022 W13 Silver Arrows car. And now its happened – the W13 and Lewis Hamilton on the same stage
(Another thing that I waited for was the ‘dismissal’ of Australian Michael Massi – but least said about that the better.)
Here’s the media release from the team
Introducing W13, the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team’s challenger for 2022
• A new driver pairing, the return of silver, and significant changes to chassis and Power Unit.
• Toto Wolff: “A year with an almost seismic change in regulations is exciting for all of us.”
• Lewis Hamilton and George Russell will complete a 100km ‘shakedown’ today at Silverstone.
As dawn breaks on a brand-new era for Formula One, the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team today launched its challenger for the 2022 season – the Mercedes-AMG F1 W13 E Performance. With the sport’s most significant technical regulation change in a generation, the factories at Brackley and Brixworth have been bristling with activity to respond to the challenge and identify every possible opportunity to unlock performance.
After 18 months of hard work, the end result is the W13, a car which is 98% new and freshly designed from tip-to-toe with minimal carry-over from its predecessor. Behind the wheel of the W13 for the 2022 season will be a new driver partnership of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, who graduates from the Mercedes Young Driver Programme to step up to the eight-time world champion Mercedes-AMG works team.
“Ever since work on W13 began, I have seen an excited enthusiasm in our team members like never before, thanks to the scale of opportunity that these technical regulations provide,” said Toto Wolff, Team Principal & CEO of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team. “Towards the end of the year when the car build project truly came together, I felt a deep passion across the whole organisation, not only in the technical arena but across our bases at Brackley and Brixworth who were embracing a mindset of ‘we can do this’”.
“We did pretty well during the last big regulatory change into the hybrid era and performed well when we went from the narrow to the wide cars in 2017. While we have a good track record, my message is clear: we can’t rely on past success for this year’s performance, but we can rely on our people, our culture, our structure, and our mindset to do the best possible job for 2022”, continued Toto.
The team’s 2022 challenger will be named the ‘Mercedes-AMG F1 W13 E Performance’, with W13 representing the thirteenth car produced by the Mercedes-AMG works team since re-entering F1 in 2010. The ‘E Performance’ technology label signifies the continued close collaboration between the team and Mercedes-AMG, with the label featuring on all new AMG performance hybrid cars.
Significant Technical Changes for 2022
The technical regulation changes for 2022, whose introduction was delayed by a year as F1 negotiated the COVID-19 pandemic, represent a fundamental shift in design rules and one of the biggest regulatory changes the sport has ever seen.
“On the chassis side, the changes are huge,” said Mike Elliott, the team’s Technical Director. “We haven’t had a change as big as this one in my career. I think there are three aspects to this: first, the way the regulations are constructed is very different, particularly for aerodynamics, and that has a big impact. Second, what they are trying to achieve with the aerodynamics means the cars are fundamentally a different shape. Third, this is the first time we will have attempted such a big change under a cost cap.”
The W13 is the product of a complete redesign from top to bottom, with the steering wheel the only carryover element from its predecessor. Operating with a blank slate and such a steep development curve has been a stimulating experience for the engineers at the team’s Brackley base and something they’ve relished.
“Engineers love a challenge and therefore it is a fantastic opportunity to do something fresh. In the aerodynamic world, normally you are chasing after little bits and pieces, but with such big regulation changes, the gains have been coming in big chunks which is quite satisfying,” Mike explained. “On the flipside, we’ve had a period of success, winning the last eight Constructors’ titles and this is a reset. All the teams have started from scratch with the model provided by F1 and you don’t get to carry over the benefits or fix the issues from last year’s car, so everyone began this journey at the same level.”
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