JEREZ, Spain – The Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team today unveiled its 2013 Formula One car, the F1 W04, at the Jerez circuit in southern Spain.
Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton arrived at the official photo call at the wheel of two Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Coupé Black Series, the fifth Black Series model from Mercedes-AMG.
Inspired by the SLS AMG GT3 race car, the new car offers a blend of breathtaking design, outstanding driving dynamics and lightweight construction in line with the “AMG Lightweight Performance” strategy. Developing 464 kW (631 hp) for a kerb weight of 1550 kg, the SLS AMG Coupé Black Series accelerates to 100 km/h in 3.6 seconds and is the most powerful internal combustion vehicle currently produced by Mercedes-Benz.
“2013 marks the start of a second era for our Silver Arrows works team,” said Team Principal Ross Brawn. “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. 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 are also hugely proud to welcome Lewis to the team as a works Mercedes-Benz driver. With Lewis and Nico, we have what I believe to be the strongest driver line-up in Formula One and I know that a healthy level of competition between them both will help drive the team forward.”
The new F1 W04 completed its first laps of today’s 100 km shakedown at 10:21 CET in the hands of Nico Rosberg, who drove the car throughout the morning. Lewis Hamilton will take the wheel of a Formula One Silver Arrow for the first time this afternoon, the first British works driver since Sir Stirling Moss in 1955. The car will then complete four days of testing this week in Jerez, in the hands of Nico and Lewis.
With the technical regulations remaining stable in 2013, ahead of major changes for 2014, the basic vehicle concept of the F1 W04 is a sophisticated evolution of last year’s car. Led by Engineering Director Aldo Costa, under the coordination of Technical Director Bob Bell, the project commenced with initial aerodynamic testing in early summer 2012.
The aerodynamic design philosophy has been optimized around a new five-element front wing design and a second-generation Coanda exhaust at the rear. The car retains pushrod front suspension and a pullrod rear suspension, aimed at optimizing tire life and performance, while the rear end has been aggressively packaged to optimise aerodynamic development potential.
The F1 W04 also does away with the stepped nose design of its predecessor thanks to a small ‘vanity panel’, which was found to offer a small gain during aerodynamic testing. The car completed its final mandatory FIA crash test on Jan. 15.
“It’s a very special day for me to officially present our Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow to the world. There is no company with a longer history in Grand Prix racing than Mercedes-Benz and it is an honour for me to tread in the footsteps of legends like Juan Manuel Fangio, Sir Stirling Moss and Michael Schumacher,” said Hamilton. “It’s the start of a new chapter for me, a new adventure, and when I walked through the doors in Brackley, I was so excited to get down to work. I’ve been at the factory for a few days now, getting to know the guys, meeting my mechanics and engineers, learning myself into the team and I have never seen a group of people that is hungrier for success than this one.
“They have been flat out this winter trying to pack more performance into the new car and I can’t wait to drive it and see where I can make a difference to help push the team forward with Nico. This is a new start for me with the team in Brackley but I have worked with Mercedes-Benz for a very long time now, and I learned one thing most of all: Mercedes-Benz doesn’t know how to lose. We are playing a long game here but I know we will have success together and I’m excited to be a big part of making it happen.”