Revealed: Key W14 changes as Mercedes look to mount championship bid

Mercedes finished third in the 2022 constructors’ championship as the team endured a tough start to the new era of Formula 1.

Prior to the 2022 season, Mercedes had won eight consecutive constructors’ championships, designing some of the most impressive pieces of machinery ever seen along the way.

When the major regulation changes came into effect at the start of last year, it was expected that it would be business as usual at Mercedes, and that they would easily produce a car capable of at least challenging for the title.

Shockingly, the team got their design pathway horribly wrong and created a W13 fully of flaws and problems, putting them out of the title race with Ferrari and Red Bull before it had even really started.

The W13 harboured a major porpoising problem which perplexed the Mercedes’ engineers and took them half of the season to solve, meaning that the performance of the car was not improved significantly until after the summer break.

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Once the team managed to apply major upgrades to the W13 in Austin prior to the US Grand Prix, the Silver Arrows became somewhat competitive, fighting for wins and even picking up a victory in Brazil courtesy of George Russell.

With the 2023 season fast approaching, Mercedes have already sent a warning shot to their rivals, showing on social media that they have already fired up the engine of the W14 for the first time, meaning they are well underway with the development of their 2023 challenger.

The Silver Arrows are reportedly confident that their power unit will be competitive as always, suggesting that its performance is in line with Honda and Ferrari.

With aerodynamics and ride hight playing a massive part in Mercedes 2022 shortcomings, the W14 will feature a revolutionised underfloor, with sections of the diffuser throat and Venturi channels being redesigned ahead of next season.

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The team will also look to make strides forward with regards to their gearbox, as they seek to produce a much more competitive car than the W13 this year.

Fortunately for Mercedes, the changes in regulations in 2023 are nowhere near as major as the previous season, with teams only having to combat a reduction in the minimum weight of the cars.

Multiple teams have claimed that their cars were overweight in 2022, meaning that this reduction in minimum weight will provide engineers with the change to significantly lighten their cars compared to last season.