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. MahavirShah (@mahavirshah) said on 17th February 2012, 13:09

    Why does Nico have a map of a circuit beside the steering wheel? It’d be quite funny to imagine a driver thinking ” So is it a left from here or right, I wonder :) !!! ” But great onboard, pity the broadcasters dont get more creative with the onboard footage that we get to see on tv. Ditto for the radio chat between the driver and team.

    • TheBrav3 said on 17th February 2012, 13:58

      It’s for if they have to make any quick pit calls about anything, on track debries oil/water ground hogs broken down cars bottles strippers what evers out there. Also to give quick feedback about what the car is doing through a given corner. It’s easyer to quickly look at the map and say yes bottoming out at turn 9 rather than going oh blummin heck now i’m going through farm what was the previous corner where i had a problem whilst by then attempting to negotiate the village loop.

  2. I was hoping that Mercedes wouldn’t have gone down the stepped nose route, but alas it seems it will only be the McLaren not to have such an ugly nose.

    I know Marussia and HRT are still to launch their 2012 cars but they probably will have a stepped nose as well and besides they are going to be fighting at the wrong end of the field.

    I like variety in car design in F1 but the problem is if a concept proves to be fast all the other teams usually adapt it as soon as possible.

    Hopefully it will end up that there is not much performance difference between the two types of nose and in the future fewer teams will have stepped noses. Otherwise barring another regulation change we may end all F1 cars looking like this.

    I normally would like as many teams and drivers as possible to be evenly matched at the top and fighting it out for race wins and ultimately championships, however part of me would like McLaren to have a much faster car as it would increase the chance of other teams getting rid of steeped noses next year.

  3. Is it me or is the rear suspension set up really different to the other cars. The wishbones seem to connect halfway up the side of the car!

    • TheBrav3 said on 17th February 2012, 14:01

      Looks the same as what everyone else has got for rear suspension though on first looks i thought the same not sure why lol.

      • The angle at which the top linkage goes to the rear wheel looks odd to me…
        But then again because its not black maybe thats why it looks wierd?! any thoughts… or am i talking out of my a***?

        • TheBrav3 said on 17th February 2012, 14:29

          well i had a look at a couple of different 2012 cars and from what we can see of the merc i reckon they are angled in the same manner. Take a look at this the top picture is the new mp4-27


          It looks like a similar setup to me. It could be the colour or maybe because of the actual angle that the merc has been foto’d making the suspensions angle look more exadjurated.

      • TheBrav3 said on 17th February 2012, 14:55

        err what happened to our comments? This is the second time in 3 days i have seen whole chunks of conversations go missing with out any modable reason.

  4. The Limit said on 17th February 2012, 13:54

    I don’t know what to make of the ‘stepped nose’ design as others have put it. I am wondering in McLaren’s case why they havn’t copied the rest of the teams with putting one on their new car, seems abit of a gamble. If their car turns out to be a rocketship on wheels then it will be looked at as a stroke of genius. If not, ouch!

  5. David B (@davidb1970) said on 17th February 2012, 14:13

    Great in car footage. It may just be the camera angle but that step must make the drivers lose a bit of perspective as to the distance to the actual front of the car. I can see the teams going through plenty of front wings this season!

  6. kbdavies said on 17th February 2012, 15:06

    I certainly think McLaren have missed the boat on this one, rather than the conventional “stoke of genius” or “evolution of design” explanation doing the rounds everywhere.

    I do not believe that 11 other teams have missed on a design that is so obvious.
    If you are doing something different from everybody else, which goes against the conventional wisdom, then you are probably wrong – Law of Parsimony paraphrased.
    McLaren have be trying to explain their design route – evidence to me that their nose is more of a gamble, which they are nervous about.

    They cant hardly say we took a risk and got it wrong, can they? I expect the Mercedes and Ferrari to be more competitive than McLaren this season.

    • Mclaren ran a much lower bulkhead/nose to anyone in 2010 and 2011, it didnt do them any harm then. They were beaten only by Redbull, whose car was superior in other areas.

      It’s just a different way of getting around the same problem. It’s not a game changer.

      And actually, as has been pointed out by one of the Mclaren designers, it’s every other team thats having to adapt their cars to the new nose regs, not Mclaren. So if anything, its in their favour.

  7. How can Mercedes be testing at all?

    • Harry Palmer said on 17th February 2012, 16:14

      It’s not testing as such… every team is allowed 100km of running for ‘filming’ purposes. They can only use demo tyres so it won’t give them particularly accurate and they often use it to ‘shakedown’ their car before starting the main testing programme

  8. JamieFranklinF1 (@jamiefranklinf1) said on 17th February 2012, 15:30

    I don’t understand why a lot of people assume that Mercedes have the biggest, or worst stepped nose, just because they’ve seen a side picture of it.

    From my view, I can see that it is clearly stepped, but it’s not a complete side view, it’s slightly diagonal, and the light on it is making it look worse than it is. Without closer inspection, it’s impossible to tell whether it’s a step similar to the of Ferrari and Sauber, or whether it’s more curved like those of the Red Bull, Force India and Toro Rosso.

    Obviously there’s no telling who is right at this stage, but I have a feeling it’ll be a more curvy design than that of the Ferrari, Sauber and Caterham cars we’ve seen.

  9. I’m gonna bet my money on McLaren this year. They have the most elegant design. ;)

  10. George (@george) said on 17th February 2012, 17:56

    Oooh steering wheel cam! Me likey!

  11. Maciek (@maciek) said on 17th February 2012, 20:39

    Cool of them to release a video like this – way better (and purer) than the ooh, aah, shadows, cue the techno music Red Bull stuff.

    And I don’t really get this ‘have McLaren missed something’ line of thinking – they’ve kept the nose low on their car throughout recent years and as far as I can tell only RB have been faster, so obviously both approaches can produce the fastest cars on the grid.

  12. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 17th February 2012, 21:42

    Bit of a shame that the nose doesn’t look as elegant as the Lotus but performance beats looks I guess.

  13. schooner (@schooner) said on 18th February 2012, 0:02

    After seeing these photos, I guess it’s official. The McLaren is the only one of the new crop without the “stepped” nose. It amazes me that they came up with (or are sticking to?) what surely must be a radically different front suspension geometry than any other team on the 2012 grid. Hope they got it right!

  14. Nestor said on 18th February 2012, 12:04

    Ok, everybody is talking about the nose, but what’s up with the shark fins? RBR had it,Ferrari had it etc.
    What has changed in regulations so now nobody has them?

  15. Bobdredds (@bobdredds) said on 18th February 2012, 16:16

    Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Hell no it’s just the interpetation of F1’s new regulations. :)

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