It’s awards season! The time of year when we at GrandPrix247 look back on the 2022 Formula 1 season and choose who gets one of our awards. Our worst-looking car of the year? Mercedes’ W13.
Mercedes went back to their Silver livery in 2022 after two years of running their striking special black livery in support of Lewis Hamilton’s “Black Lives Matter” promotion.
No one can complain about the W11 and W12 and their looks as they were beautiful to behold, and more importantly, blindingly fast, the W12 is most probably the fastest car in F1 history, that is if and when F1 rules allow for a faster one to be built in future.
Enter the W13. It was silver, and the launch specification had a classic appearance with normal sidepods, nothing special there, but then the real W13 broke cover with its radical “Zeropod” design.
Radical and innovative? No doubt… Good looking? No!
Mercedes W13 was outright ugly
There is no nice way to say this, but the W13 looked ugly as if those sidepods were mangled by a T-bone crash, and to make things worse it was woeful performance-wise.
Had it delivered on the promise of speed it showed in the wind tunnel, the W13’s aesthetics would’ve been easily overlooked by its on-track performance, but sadly that was not the case.
The W13 was every bit vicious as it was ugly, with its “porpoising” tendency making it the bouncy trap Lewis Hamilton and George Russell dreaded stepping in every grand prix weekend, not to mention how slow and draggy it was.
Mercedes kept the faith in their ugly duckling in 2022, and went on developing it and trying to sort out it’s problems, and despite being awarded by Russell’s win in Sao Paulo, the W13 remained a moody and unpredictable beast.
Toto Wolff admitted the W13 didn’t belong in the Mercedes museum, but the “caves”, but later said it would displayed at the factory to be a reminder of how badly the team dropped the ball in 2022.
Wherever Mercedes decide to place the W13, both Hamilton and Russell will surely be happy that they won’t have to drive it again, and for us it is good to know we will no longer have to look at the “Silver Eyesore” the W13 was. (Compiled by Jad Mallak)