The Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team unveiled its 2013 Formula One car, the F1 W04, at the Jerez circuit in southern Spain today. Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton arrived at the official photo call at the wheel of two Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Coupé Black Series, the fifth Black Series model from Mercedes-AMG.
Inspired by the SLS AMG GT3 race car, the new car offers a blend of breathtaking design, outstanding driving dynamics and lightweight construction in line with the “AMG Lightweight Performance” strategy. Developing 464 kW (631 hp) for a kerb weight of 1550 kg, the SLS AMG Coupé Black Series accelerates to 100 km/h in 3.6 seconds and is the most powerful internal combustion road vehicle currently produced by Mercedes-Benz.
The new F1 W04 completed its first laps of today’s 100 km shakedown at 10:21 CET in the hands of Nico Rosberg at Jerez, who drove the car throughout the morning. Lewis Hamilton will take the wheel of a Formula One Silver Arrow for the first time this afternoon, the first British works driver since Sir Stirling Moss in 1955. The car will then complete four days of testing this week in Jerez, in the hands of Nico and Lewis.
With the technical regulations remaining stable in 2013, ahead of major changes for 2014, the basic vehicle concept of the F1 W04 is a sophisticated evolution of last year’s car. Led by Engineering Director Aldo Costa, under the coordination of Technical Director Bob Bell, the project commenced with initial aerodynamic testing in early summer 2012.
The aerodynamic design philosophy has been optimised around a new five-element front wing design and a second-generation Coanda exhaust at the rear. The car retains pushrod front suspension and a pullrod rear suspension, aimed at optimising tyre life and performance, while the rear end has been aggressively packaged to optimise aerodynamic development potential.
The F1 W04 also does away with the stepped nose design of its predecessor thanks to a small ‘vanity panel’, which was found to offer a small gain during aerodynamic testing. The car completed its final mandatory FIA crash test on 15 January.