Last year Mercedes did not win a world championship title in Formula 1 for the first time since 2013. The racing team is therefore changing color for the new season: silver becomes black. The explanation is obvious - and ties into a myth of motorsport history.
Mercedes wants to return to the top of Formula 1 with the help of a legendary idea from the rough beginnings of motorsport. The new racing car for the 2023 season is black to save weight. The team around record world champion Lewis Hamilton and substitute driver Mick Schumacher unveiled the W14 at Silverstone. Last season's Mercedes struggled, among other things, with excessive weight. "This year we tried to squeeze out every single gram," said motorsport director Toto Wolff, "so now history is repeating itself." Parts of the car remain unpainted, the black carbon forms the visible surface there.
Mercedes flirts with the origins of the famous Silver Arrow. In the summer of 1934, 89 years ago, the then new W25 exceeded the permitted maximum weight before a race at the Nürburgring, so race manager Alfred Neubauer gave the instruction to remove the white paint. The first silver arrow was born - at least that's what the legend says.
Juan Manuel Fangio later drove to two world championship titles in the silver Mercedes in the 1950s, after returning as a works team, the brand with the star dominated Formula 1 from 2014 to 2020. Last year, Mercedes had to retire after eight triumphs in a row defeated Red Bull in the Constructors' World Championship. In the drivers' standings, Max Verstappen also defended his 2021 title. Hamilton also went without a race win for the first time in his career. At the start of the season on March 5th in Bahrain, Mercedes wants to attack the world champion again.
Verstappen prevented Hamilton's eighth world title in the Red Bull again, with which he would be the sole record holder in the premier class of motorsport. The 38-year-old Briton still shares the record with Michael Schumacher. "I always believe that I can get even better," emphasized Hamilton, who loves the challenge of teasing even more performance out of himself.
"At the end of the year the car worked very well," said Wolff, "we have now tried to keep the good and address the weaknesses." The chassis is significantly lighter, and the front wheel suspension, cooling and aerodynamic concept have also been revised.
Schumacher will support the team as a replacement driver after leaving the Haas racing team. "I'm a bit on the sidelines but I'll do anything to help," he said, "and I want to learn as much as I can." Schumacher would step in for Hamilton or George Russell if necessary and can also hope for assignments with Mercedes customers McLaren. He will also do simulator work for Mercedes.