Mercedes are the latest team to show off their 2022 Formula 1 car, with the team returning to their trademark silver livery for the W13 on Friday morning.
While Mercedes did show their quality by winning the 2021 F1 Constructors Championship, they lost out on the Drivers’ Title after the now infamous finish to the Abu Dhabi GP with Lewis Hamilton passed on the last lap by Max Verstappen.
Despite their narrow defeat, the team will enter the season as favourites for both titles with Hamilton motivated to reclaim the title.
“Ever since work on W13 began, I have seen an excited enthusiasm in our team members like never before, thanks to the scale of opportunity that these technical regulations provide,” said Toto Wolff the Mercedes team principal.
“Towards the end of the year when the car build project truly came together, I felt a deep passion across the whole organisation, not only in the technical arena but across our bases at Brackley and Brixworth who were embracing a mindset of ‘we can do this’.
“We did pretty well during the last big regulatory change into the hybrid era and performed well when we went from the narrow to the wide cars in 2017. While we have a good track record, my message is clear: we can’t rely on past success for this year’s performance, but we can rely on our people, our culture, our structure, and our mindset to do the best possible job for 2022.”
Hamilton addresses retirement rumors
Having lost the title in one of the most controversial circumstances in the history of the sport, rumors abounded of Hamilton’s potential retirement at the end of 2021. The British driver however has stated his commitment to Formula 1 never wavered.
“I never said I’d stop,” Hamilton said at the launch.
“I love doing what I do, it’s a privilege. You feel like a family. There’s no feeling like it. It was a difficult time for me, I needed to take a step back, focusing on the present, with my family and creating great moments.”
A new lineup at Mercedes
Mercedes will enter 2022 with a new driver lineup with former Williams star George Russell joining the team in place of former incumbent Valtteri Bottas. The Brackley-based team now has the added advantage of pairing the sport’s most successful driver with an up-and-coming talent, who could lead them into the future.
“Lewis [Hamilton] is the best driver in the world, and he is joined by one of the brightest and most promising of their generation in George [Russell],” Wolff commented.
“I have no doubt that we can create an environment of partnership between the two of productivity to develop this new car which will be essential, whilst maintaining a healthy competition that will motivate them and the wider team.
“George is just getting on with the job. I know he’s had a good winter of training and we’ve seen him in the factory, working on the simulator and with his engineers. This team has always been his home and therefore the transition to driving for us has been very smooth.”
Having won the last eight consecutive Constructors’ Championships, Mercedes will be confident heading into the 2022 season. The team has largely responded well to technical overhauls and there is no reason to believe that they won’t be a force at the front of the grid come the first race of the season.