What have Mercedes done over the winter to give Lewis Hamilton a better car?

Mercedes are hoping to bounce back from their worst season since the start of the turbo-hybrid era in 2014, after finishing third in 2022.

Mercedes unveiled last Wednesday that they’d returned to black for 2023, in a bid to shave as many pounds off the car as possible.

The Germans were heavy at the start of the aerodynamic era last season, resulting in the team attempting to lose weight throughout the season, something they’ve continued to do over the winter break.

By running a black livery, Mercedes have been able to leave considerable amounts of carbon exposed, given that it’s already black.

By not having to paint over the vast majority of the livery, the side have been able to shed considerable weight, something which will most certainly benefit them come pre-season testing next week.

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It’s not just weight saving that the Germans have been working on over the winter, though, with the Silver Arrows having addressed their aerodynamic woes.

Mercedes, of course, suffered horrendously from porpoising last season, to the extent where Lewis Hamilton complained of spinal pain at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

To compensate for their aerodynamic difficulties, Mercedes have worked on the airflow going underneath the car and across it, with the sidepods having also been slightly adjusted.

Whilst the W14 has retained a lot of the concepts seen on the W13 – including the ‘zero sidepods’ – the car is certainly somewhat of a development of last year’s ‘diva’.

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The team couldn’t simply start from scratch again, given that it would’ve seen them fall 12 months behind Red Bull and Ferrari in terms of development.

Mercedes have integrated a continuous profile of their sidepods for this season, something which should hold the airflow at the back of the car.

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The team’s front wing is also noticeably different, with it being a completely different shape to last season.

Mercedes had, of course, attempted to introduce a new front wing in the latter stages of last season, only to see it banned by the FIA.

Given the newly designed front wing and tweaked engine cover, it is clear that Mercedes have identified the areas that let them down last season, with the side likely hoping that what they’ve done over the off-season will result in increased performance.