After dominating the Formula 1 world championship with eight consecutive world titles since the turbo-hybrid era began in 2014, the 2022 season has been rather poor. Struggling largely with the new technical regulations of Formula 1 which saw the return of ‘ground effect’, the constructor won only one race – the penultimate race of the season – and came only third in the constructors’ standings behind Red Bull and Ferrari. Ahead of the new season, Mercedes is convinced that they will forcefully return to the track in the 2023 title race. They have just launched a new machine, the W14, which is supposed to have a “new DNA” and enable them to return to the first positions. Will they bounce back and be one of the title contenders this season?
Throwback struggles throughout 2022
2022 was the first year since 2014 that Mercedes failed to win a world championship title. With the introduction of a new set of technical regulations, Mercedes faced challenges with the concept of an all-new car that suffered greatly from overuse of porpoises. New ground effect models that were designed to produce maximum downforce caused the car to bounce on the track that was not shown in the designer’s simulation and rendered the new model unviable. Mercedes suffered from ground effect returns the most, and ended up winning just one race the entire season. As the team worked hard throughout the year to address the issues and find and understand the car’s flaws, they were able to make improvements and updates. Towards the end of the season, Mercedes picked up more encouraging form and finally reached the podium with a 1-2 finish in Brazil when George Russell stormed ahead of 7-time world champion and teammate Lewis Hamilton – that was just the penultimate event of the season.
New DNA for Mercedes 2023
Will the constructor be able to address all of the W13’s faults and shortcomings in their new W14? Mercedes recently revealed a short teaser video of their 2023 car, which goes by the name “W14 First Words”. While no clues were revealed about the styling and possible changes, the video showed factory staff working on the car and allowed viewers to hear the W14’s engine roar for the first time as Brackley was shot by Mercedes. The designer did not reveal the exact new design, however, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said the car would have a completely new DNA. Taking lessons from their uncharacteristically failed 2022 season, the team went in a new direction with their new model, changing the car’s architecture to get them back into racing.
A fresh start to the 2023 season
The Silver Arrows are convinced they will be able to make a strong rebound in 2023 and rejoin the F1 title race. Their improved form towards the end of the season raised hopes that they would be able to recover. While the car will feature new DNA, the Silver Arrows will return to the paddock with the same drivers, as Lewis Hamilton and George Russell begin their second season together as teammates. Racing in the Middle East will begin in Bahrain with pre-season test races from February 23-25 ahead of the official inaugural race taking place at the same venue between March 3-5.
The Silver Arrows would still fall short of the reigning champions Red Bull Racing to get back on top. However, according to expert forecasts, their odds of returning to the title race are good. Bookmakers publish their odds of winning the Formula 1 World Championship among many other sports to players from all over the world. According to their calculations and predictions, which are updated regularly, Mercedes is the second favorite in the 2023 Constructors’ Championship with a margin of 2.375, and closely follows defending champions Red Bull with a margin of 2.00 (date: 11.01). Looking at the drivers’ championship, Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton finished second behind champion Max Verstappen, while his Mercedes teammate George Russell came fourth behind Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.
Will the Silver Arrows return to form in their all-new W14 in 2023? The team believes they will be in a strong place to recover this year after the lessons and developments from last season. The race to the top will start in March.