As the F1-less month of January seems to go on like turmoil, the F1 teams are all keeping us fans excited this year with some extra special teasers of their upcoming cars. Not only will it be a chance to see the new liveries but it will also be the first time we see what the new generation of F1 cars actually look like. The show car F1 paraded around Silverstone last year was basically an example of what would happen if the teams built the most obvious solution to all the regulations (basically what the Haas VF22 will look like). This means the show car is going to be vastly different to real machines run by the teams.
Recently Mercedes showed off their W13 without any paint bar a Mercedes badge in a dark room at the Brackley headquarters. What they didn’t expect to happen was the lights to be turned on and photos taken of the sides and nose of their 2022 challenger. Oh yes, this is the Mercedes W13.
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Now that you’re down pawing over these photos, let’s take a deep dive into these little snapshots of what’s to come. Firstly, if we take a look at the close up of the nose, you can sharp right angles that lead into the nose’s sides and the distinctive point at the end reminiscent of the ones worn by the last 3 Mercedes cars. The nose is similar to that on the show car in the sense that it overhangs the front wing, unlike F1’s digital models.
This point is because unlike what Ferrari are doing, Mercedes have opted to keep their pushrod suspension meaning everything has to be raised up higher which is why it has squared sides rather than the curves of the show car.
Keep your eyes peeled here – article on Ferrari’s design revolution coming soon
Next, if we look at the halo, you can a strange design from Mercedes that like the nose is far more squared than the F1 show car. The latter used a halo identical to 2021 which used a single pillar that curved outwards like Y shape into lengths that connect on either side of the cockpit. However, Mercedes’ halo is far more squared and actually look more like a T with a little bit of metal filling in the right angle. In essence, there are 3 clear surfaces: upright pillar, outwards lengths and a section connecting them.
Further back, the air scoop is a pentagonal shape just like F1’s show car and virtual model which is interesting because that is the greatest thing differentiating the teams: their power units. This is because each power unit has certain cooling needs, for example, Renault’s needs a lot from the scoop whilst Mercedes’ doesn’t and gets its cool air from other holes. This makes it surprising Mercedes have barely touched the scoop in tailoring it to their needs.
The side pods are just like the virtual model with their thick side impact structure and relatively swoop design, but not to an extent like the show car’s. Mercedes seems to love thick side impact structure as they kept it when the rest of the field moved away from it in the late 2010s. Also because as shown below, they can continue the thin sides or even make the ducts vertical but they chose the middle option with thick sides.
The wheel guards that branch up from the brake ducts are quite stubby and don’t fold over the tyre quite as much as any previous render or show car and their angle is quite high compared with the 90 degrees shown in the image above. This could be to do with Mercedes wanting to angle the air upwards.
So there it is. The 2022 Mercedes W13. The livery will be unveiled at some point in February as is customary for most the teams, Mercedes included and make sure to keep an eye out because I’ll be reporting it straight away here on Caraganza. Comment below, what do you think the livery will look like?
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