Mercedes W04 launch: First pictures and video

2013 F1 cars

The Mercedes W04, one of the most eagerly-anticipated new cars of 2013, has broken cover for the first time.

The team has lured Lewis Hamilton away from his McLaren home to drive for them this year. He will drive car number ten while team mate Nico Rosberg races number nine.

Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn said the new season “marks the start of a second era for our Silver Arrows works team”.

“The restructuring we undertook at the team over the past 18 months are now growing in maturity and this is reflected in the F1 W04, which is a clear step forward in design and detail sophistication over its predecessor.

“Many thousands of hours of work have been invested by our technical teams in Brackley and Brixworth to ensure that the new car delivers a step change in performance compared to last season.

“We are also hugely proud to welcome Lewis to the team as a works Mercedes-Benz driver. With Lewis and Nico, we have what I believe to be the strongest driver line-up in Formula One and I know that a healthy level of competition between them both will help drive the team forward.”

Nico Rosberg drives the Mercedes W04

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111 comments on Mercedes W04 launch: First pictures and video

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  1. Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 4th February 2013, 10:35

    Interesting how Nico has taken the odd-number car. Hamilton outscored him in 2012 and he replaced Schumacher, who always wanted the odd-numbered car, regardless of scoring.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 4th February 2013, 10:39

      @optimaximal – Teams are entitled to assign numbers as they see fit. Most teams prefer to award the lower number (in this case, #9) to the driver who placed higher in the previous year’s World Drivers’ Championship. Although Hamilton out-scored Rosberg in 2012, he is also new to the team, and many teams tend to assign higher numbers (in this case, #10) to incoming drivers.

      There are rare occasions to the contrary, of course. Mercedes used to give Schumacher the odd number because he is deeply-superstitious. And in 2010, Felipe Massa carried the lower number (#7) because the team wanted to rally around his recovery.

      • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 4th February 2013, 11:02

        @prisoner-monkeys I completely understand it’s optional. Was just pointing out that there are two precedents for Hamilton being ‘due’ the 9, just as Rosberg is also due it given the criteria you mentioned.

      • Drop Valencia! said on 4th February 2013, 11:08

        Massa was also teamed with a driver new to Ferrari in 2010.

        Vettel got “evens” in 2009 after beating Webber in 2008, coz he was the new guy (and had an extra 25hp in 2008).

      • wsrgo said on 4th February 2013, 12:35

        And in 2010, Felipe Massa carried the lower number (#7) because the team wanted to rally around his recovery.

        Yeah, and then Hockenheim happened.

      • Fixy (@fixy) said on 4th February 2013, 14:30

        @prisoner-monkeys Massa’s case isn’t an exception: he was at Ferrari from 2006 and in 2010 Alonso was the new guy, hence the higher number.

        • @fixy is right. That seems to be the way Ferrari go about assigning numbers as the same thing happened when Raikkonen joined in 2007 from Mclaren as it did with Alonso in 2010. Massa got given 5 and Raikkonen 6, even though Raikkonen had a massive contract and was probably signed with the intention of being the lead driver, as Alonso was when he signed and as Hamilton is now for Mercedes.

    • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 4th February 2013, 10:39

      @optimaximal, maybe Hamilton doesn’t care about the number when it isn’t a 1, and now it’s Rosbergs turn. Or he does care but ten has a 1 in :-p

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 4th February 2013, 10:41

        I’d say he cares less about his number than some of his fans who were outraged when the first entry list was released, showing him with the number 10. For some reason, people seemed to think that Mercedes owed Hamilton the “better” number.

        • Althasil (@althasil) said on 4th February 2013, 10:51

          I’ll never understand that. Driver/Car numbers seem almost meaningless in F1. Does anyone know why drivers aren’t given numbers based on their finishing position in the previous season?

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 4th February 2013, 10:53

            @althasi – Teams are free to assign their numbers as they see fit. Hamilton might have finished ahead of Rosberg last year, but that never guaranteed him the number 9 in 2013.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 4th February 2013, 10:54

            Sorry, that should be @althasil.

          • Althasil (@althasil) said on 4th February 2013, 11:07

            @prisoner-monkeys I think you may have misunderstood me. It the whole Red Bull have #1 & #2 to assign yet #1 was Vettel and #2 was Alonso. The numbering system (as it is currently) seems pretty redundant to me.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 4th February 2013, 11:11

            @althasil – Numbers are based on the finishing position in the World Constructors’ Championship. The #1 is assigned to the champion, and the #2 to his team-mate, with every other number based on the teams’ final positions. So while Alonso might have been second in the drivers’ title, he carries the #3 because Ferrari were second in the WCC.

          • Drop Valencia! said on 5th February 2013, 6:27

            No PM the #1 goes to the WDC, regardless the WCC. #3 goes to the WCC first, or second place if first already got #1.

        • GeeMac (@geemac) said on 4th February 2013, 12:53

          Well Pele said the number 10 was a gift from god…so he may well have been given the “better” number.

    • GeeMac (@geemac) said on 4th February 2013, 10:40

      Rosberg was down to be the in car number 3 when Schumacher made his comeback. Schumacher asked to be in car number 3 because of his superstition that he has always had an odd numbered car. Many suspected it was gamesmanship, but Rosberg didn’t seem too fussed. Maybe he knew that Schumacher made his debut in car number 32 :p. (http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/80987)

    • Anyway, Hamilton will be able to tweet from his new Blackberry button on the steering.

  2. Osvaldas31 (@osvaldas31) said on 4th February 2013, 10:38

    It will be the most interesting thing to watch this team this year: will Rosberg be a match to Hamilton and will Mercedes claim at least one victory.

  3. Puzano (@puzano) said on 4th February 2013, 10:39

    I say: Platypus

  4. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 4th February 2013, 10:40

    @keithcollantine – There is also this image, which shows the car in profile.

    • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 4th February 2013, 10:42

      @prisoner-monkeys, wow that somehow looks akward

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 4th February 2013, 10:49

        The nose actually reminds me a lot of the HRT F112, though it’s a much more refined version of it. I think it’s a reasonably clever interpretation of the stepped nose rule – rather than put a step in the nose and then cover it up with a modesty plate, they’ve built a continuous nose and monocoque, and then extended two ridges out either side of it to allow for a higher suspension mounting. So it’s kind of a cross between a stepped nose and the V-channels that the teams used to use.

        • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 4th February 2013, 15:11

          @prisoner-monkeys having looked at other images of the car, I do agree with you on the nose, and car. Nose treatment is a bit similar to what Newey did with the rb9, possibly. But that picture still makes the car look odd to me. Could be due to the car starting to move as the pic was taken though.

  5. I am certainly no expert but it does not as tidy at the rear as other cars. Also that nose just looks odd.

    • D (@f190) said on 4th February 2013, 12:01

      @leoman

      That’s my exact feelings. I’m no expert at all but from the other launches the merc just looks very “full” at the back. The mclaren and redbull show so much rear floor, whereas the merc seems to have a lot of bodywork there.. The nose also looks “wrong” but could work with their package.. Im a huge Hamiltion fan and overall im not jumping for joy, in fact im pretty gutted because there’s much talk of Mclaren running away with this year’s Championships.

      Its yet to be seen how the year will unfold but Im already worried for merc, they ended the last year so badly and this looks more of an “evolution” than a new concept… I so hope I’m wrong !

      • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 4th February 2013, 12:10

        I 100% expect them to spend the year trying to score points. There seems to be a resignation amongst the team that this year is building slowly towards 2014. They’ve got the right driver on board now, and they are going to use this year to get him used to the team ready for an all out assault next year.

        They’ve got Hamilton in the car so there’s always the chance of the odd storming drive but they won’t be competing for the title this year.

        There’s just as much chance of them getting 2014 horribly wrong as there is them getting it right but I’ve no doubt that most of their effort is going into next year.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 4th February 2013, 10:52

      “Unique” certainly is the word I’d use to describe it.

      People claim that the sport needs to do more to embrace social media, but it’s episodes like this one that prove just how hilariously inept the people involved can be with it.

      • Calum (@calum) said on 4th February 2013, 10:58

        Nice idea, but poorly executed. They are definitely not the first Formula 1 team to grossly underestimate the volume of fans wanting to see new cars, and have their server overload as a result!

        • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 4th February 2013, 11:05

          There’s a reason McLaren chose YouTube’s Live streaming service. The Ferrari stream was abysmally low quality and Force India’s website similarly fell over.

          Mercedes weren’t the only ones with issues – scaling sites are both hard to get right and expensive when you’re expecting mega traffic for all of 2-3 days in a year.

        • MaroonJack (@maroonjack) said on 4th February 2013, 11:09

          It looks like they underestimated the number of visitors on their website and at the same time overestimated the number of their active twitter followers. To me it seemed like more people were tweeting #UnboltTheBull, than #F1W04Reveal.

          I think they were hoping for the garage doors to fully open in a matter of hours, but instead it was one of the most boring online events I ever saw.

    • Nick F said on 4th February 2013, 11:04

      They have Michael Schumacher as the background image for their website. :-)

  6. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1) said on 4th February 2013, 10:47

    It does not seem… balenced right, that rear end in particular looks shody. But I suppose it has some knd of aerodynamic purpose that won’t work right, because its a Mercedes XD

  7. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1) said on 4th February 2013, 10:48

    The rear wing looks like its on the wrong way round.

  8. robfff said on 4th February 2013, 10:52

    meh

  9. bosyber (@bosyber) said on 4th February 2013, 10:55

    There’s alsook a video (found via @TommyB89)

  10. MagillaGorilla (@magillagorilla) said on 4th February 2013, 10:57

    If people care, who is first or second driver…they should worry what color the t-bar is.

  11. matt90 (@matt90) said on 4th February 2013, 10:59

    Looks a bit funny in profile, but this is the first Mercedes which I’ve generally quite liked the look of.

  12. Hairs (@hairs) said on 4th February 2013, 11:11

    Hamilton has already improved the performance of the Mercedes team by managing to tweet a picture of a car on the internet. That’s this years’ salary accounted for, anyway.

    No doubt a team of 20 silicon valley ex-cto guys is being assembled in a new office next to lauda’s as we speak to work out how he did it.

  13. BasCB (@bascb) said on 4th February 2013, 11:12

    Somehow that car looks very short, lets hope they find a good way to operate it and win a couple of races this year. I am also curious how much trouble we will have discerning between the 2 drivers when both have a largely yellow helmet!

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