Mercedes-AMG F1 W15 E PERFORMANCE Launch

Mercedes-AMG F1 W15

Yesterday, the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team launched their 2024 FIA Formula One World Championship contending car: the Mercedes-AMG F1 W15 E PERFORMANCE with the same driver line up of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell behind the wheel, along with Reserve Drivers Mick Schumacher and newcomer Fred Vesti.

Following a disappointing 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix, the team have been hard at work for almost 12 months on the new 2024 car having set a new direction. Despite the limitations of the W14’s pre-existing architecture, there was some progress last season with a hard-fought, year-long battle giving the team second place in the Constructors’ Championship.

Toto Wolff, Team Principal & CEO of the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team, commented:

“We know we have a mountain to climb to fight at the very front. There are no miracles in this sport. But our ambition and determination are strong. Since charting this new course, development has progressed well. We had several items on our priority list for this car. We will soon see if we’ve made the step we’ve aimed for.”

As Technical Director James Allison explains:

“The design of any car is an iterative process. And a long one at that. It stretches back to last year. A new car enables the team to make bigger alterations that are not possible during the season. These are decisions that are taken during the preceding summer.”

Changes include a new chassis and new gearbox casing. Aerodynamically, the focus has been on efficiency and trying to find more downforce with less drag and delivering it to the track so that it complements the function of the suspension and tyres.

Mercedes-AMG F1 W15 2

Allison continues:

“A big focus has been on improving the previous car’s unpredictable rear axle. We have worked hard to ensure that both axles, but particularly the rear axle, retain better control of the tyre than on the W14. There’s also been some housekeeping on areas in which we had room for improvement, including the DRS effect, and pit stop performance.”

The main differentiating factors lie in the underside of the car, adding:

“With this current generation of cars, so much of the performance comes from how the floor interacts with the road. Whether or not a car is effective is down to how well that floor is permitted to behave aerodynamically.

“We feel like we have had a good winter, but F1 is a relative game and only time will tell how big a step we’ve made. We’re focused on getting the most from the car we launch, but we are excited by the development race that will follow as the regulations are still young and opportunities abound.”

Wolff adds:

“As the saying goes: when it stings, it sticks. I believe the previous two years were necessary for us to readjust, recalibrate and reinvent ourselves in certain areas. That root-and-branch approach is never easy. But we’ve made progress and look forward to taking the next step with the W15. It won’t be a linear path, but when we stumble, we will get back up and keep climbing.”

Mercedes-AMG F1 W15 3

Taking a look at this year’s livery, you will notice that the famous silver is back on the car to compliment the more recently used black, to mark the iconic Silver Arrows 90th anniversary, as Wolff explains:

“Performance was always at the forefront of our minds with the black livery last year. Weight is a crucial factor in this current generation of cars. We knew that, once we were in position to do so, we would bring back the Mercedes silver to accompany the black that has become a pillar of our team identity. The livery truly reflects who we are as a team with the distinctive colours of INEOS and PETRONAS providing important highlights.”

The car’s nose section has been transformed to silver, along with the iconic three-pointed star pattern on the engine cover, while the distinguished INEOS ‘Toto Rosso’ red features on the rear-wing and roll hoop, with PETRONAS green giving a dynamic flow across the car.

The new livery reflects the team’s commercial partners with blue-chip brands such as SAP, WhatsApp and Luminar, who have all joined the team’s partner ecosystem for the new season, as Wolff explains:

“Our commercial strategy has evolved over recent years. We have always been focused on building long-term relationships with partners that share our values and delivering clear return on investment. We have now made the conscious decision to refine our partner ecosystem. We want to concentrate on a smaller, select group of partners, to better serve and deliver on their return on investment. We pride ourselves on trying to be the very best in every single area, and we believe this approach is the way we can achieve this with our partners.”

The Formula 1 season gets underway in Bahrain with the opening race on Saturday 2nd March.

Author Bio:

Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man Behind The Wheel, a member of The Guild of Motoring Writers, professional photographer and former saloon car racing driver.

Photographs courtesy of Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team

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