Picture: Mercedes W03 spied at Silverstone

2012 F1 cars

Mercedes W03, Silverstone, 2012

Mercedes W03, Silverstone, 2012

The Mercedes W03 broke cover at Silverstone yesterday as the team put the car through a 100km shakedown test.

The images above and below of Michael Schumacher driving the car were taken and sent in by a reader.

It shows Mercedes have adopted an aggressive stepped nose on the W03.

Mercedes have also released footage of Nico Rosberg driving the car including helmet camera footage:


Here is a video shot of the car testing yesterday:


Mercedes W03, Silverstone, 2012

Mercedes W03, Silverstone, 2012

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116 comments on Picture: Mercedes W03 spied at Silverstone

  1. Milansson (@milansson) said on 17th February 2012, 11:05


    so dissapointed :(

  2. msoerensen (@msoerensen) said on 17th February 2012, 11:08

    Am I the only one seeing a hole right beside Schumachers helmet?

  3. bearforce1 said on 17th February 2012, 11:14


  4. ECWDanSelby (@ecwdanselby) said on 17th February 2012, 11:19

    And I see they are still sporting the vent in the middle of the nose.

  5. djdaveyp85 (@djdaveyp87) said on 17th February 2012, 11:22

    I really need to see a front angle of this car, i think there is something interesting going on there instead of a step.

    • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 17th February 2012, 12:58

      It looks a bit as if the nose cone is both flatter, and narrower, than the rest of the tub (Impression also gleaned from having seen the teaser dark lit top view Mercedes released earlier this week that seemed to show a narrower nose cone).

  6. vjanik said on 17th February 2012, 11:31

    thats an odd looking and interesting exhaust (if it is an exhaust).

    Looks like a thin horizontal pipe. Or is it bodywork supposed to channel exhaust gases? Cant really tell from the pic.

    cant wait for the launch next week and some high res images.

  7. Andy Redden (@andyredden-on-f1) said on 17th February 2012, 11:46

    Bit disappointed to be honest. as they missed Jerez I was expecting more. Could be wrong until we see more pictures but still…

  8. GeorgeTuk (@georgetuk) said on 17th February 2012, 11:54

    So thats it then, all stepped noses apart from McLaren. Really hope they are not too far out on that decision.

    I do understand the philosophy of their design but still a bit nervous that everyone else has gone the other way!

  9. Ben (@nebjamin) said on 17th February 2012, 12:03

    It almost looks as though the nose tapers to a point.

  10. metalman71589 (@metalman71589) said on 17th February 2012, 12:17

    Looks like, it’s triangular shaped, like the bayonet on an old musket.

  11. sheehan92 said on 17th February 2012, 12:33

    The Side pods look really steap at the back and look slightly curved on top aswell, it seems the exhaust is placed directly under the air flow that would attach to this part of the car. The car also appears to be very low, the front wing also seems to be bent going round the corner which may suggest flexing. The front of the nose appears to be curved with the step being shorter in the middle than it does on the sides. It also appears to be very compact at the back an maybe a little short, be interesting to have a better look soon.

  12. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 17th February 2012, 12:38

    Next to Ferrari Mercedes looks the worst of them all,still Lotus looks the best, Mclaren is on another planet.

  13. Wow, looking at this latest on-board camera view, just realized that the driver can’t see where the car actually ends! That should make for some interesting starts this year..

    • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 17th February 2012, 13:00

      Last year that also was the case for most cars apart from McLaren, and drivers did comment on it (the McLaren guys saying they were glad they could see their nose, I think, for example).

  14. supernicebob (@supernicebob) said on 17th February 2012, 13:07

    Yes yes yes. More helmet cam footage please. Was it the end of 2008 when DC raced with one for all of 1/2 corners at Brazil? Seems to have cropped up in a few practice sessions and I think Giedo Van Der Garde had one in a GP2 race at Monza last year but otherwise has not been used anywhere near enough for my liking.

    Does anyone know if there is any particular reason holding it back?

    • TheBrav3 said on 17th February 2012, 13:24

      well driver helmets are aerodynamic devices Could be they don’t like to race with them because even the smallest camera could cause extra buffeting which would = extra stress on the neck over the course of a race.

      100% pure personal hypothesis though i’m afraid I really don’t know why they don’t because that’s what everyone wants to see.

      • GT_Racer said on 17th February 2012, 23:21

        Its something FOM are working on, The one used on vettel’s helmet at brazil (and on barrichello’s in the race) was a trial.
        They were not totally happy with the angle, the view it gives is too narrow, the wider angle shot like in the Mercedes video is more what there after.

        Helmet cameras are surprisingly difficult to pull off, There are various problems with mounting the unit & then making sure the wires are not in the way & thats before you get the teams/drivers to actually agree to run them.

        Its not just in F1, You rarely see helmet cameras used anywhere because of these problems.

        • GT_Racer said on 17th February 2012, 23:21

          Just to add.

          The reason we don’t see them used more often is that its a surprisingly difficult shot to get right. Yes we see it a lot during testing but thats often teams sticking a GoPro unit on the helmet for a lap or 2 just to get some footage. The one in the video above is a GoPro-HD unit, Its about the size of your average handheld digital camera & in no way suitable for use over a race weekend.

          During actual race weekends teams & drivers are funny about putting cameras on the helmets because they disturb the airflow, create a bit of drag & in some cases cause the helmet to move around more because of the drag.

          The one they used last year was a tiny unit which was placed in an aerodynamicly shaped plastic cover, However they struggled to get a decent angle with it which is why it wasn’t used too often & why it was taken off Vettel’s helmet after Friday.

          I said this before but its a shot thats surprisingly difficult to actually do, Thats why you hardly ever see them used.

          In terms of where you could put them,
          You can’t put them inside the helmet (As was done in CART) because of FIA safety regulations regarding how the helmets are put together (Can’t break the seals to run the cables through & there has to be a certain amount of padding etc….).
          You can’t put them at the side of the helmet because the visor tear-off’s are in the way & because they can get knocked off by the driver leaning his head into the cockpit padding.
          Your limited with putting them on top because there are 3 air vents which you can’t cover.

          I know there are many who go on about just sticking a camera on there, it cant be that hard. Trust me you can’t stick any camera on there (Has to be small enough, has to be live broadcast capable & work with FOM’s OnBoard recievers).

          To end, Its not something that isn’t done because FOM don’t want to do it. Helmet cameras are something FOM would like to do more of, Its just something thats never really fully worked out for a number of different reasons, Its not something we dont see through lack of want or trying.

          • TheBrav3 said on 18th February 2012, 4:07

            I love the way your Just to add was 3x as long as your original comment ;)

            kidding aside nice one that’s a pretty comprehensive answer from you GT_Racer and actually a bit sad. That shot from rosbergs helmet was beautifull and from what you’re saying it sounds like it will be years before we’ll get such a clear shot during a proper session let alone a race.

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