Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have revealed the 2014 Mercedes - the W05
Silver Arrows designers opt against 'anteater nose'
By William Esler
Last Updated: 28/01/14 3:36pm
As a manufacturer-backed team, the Silver Arrows are expected to be one of the title favourites this year as the new regulations place a greater emphasis on the power unit meaning building everything 'in-house' should prove to be an advantage.
The car boasts a sloping nose similar to Ferrari's and the similarly newly-unveiled Red Bull rather than the 'anteater version' seen on many of the other 2014 challengers.
2008 World Champion Hamilton will give the new W05 its full track debut on Day One at Jerez, after Rosberg completed a 40km shakedown at Silverstone last week, and the British driver cannot wait to get the season underway.
"It has been exciting to see the car come together and to see - and hear - it run for the first time last Friday in Silverstone," said Hamilton, who run with his old karting number of 44 this year.
"It looks just fantastic, so aggressive but full of really nice details as well. I am excited to find out how the new Power Unit feels to drive, to hear how it sounds from the cockpit and to compare the job we have done relative to the competition. I think this is probably the season with the most unknowns that I have faced in my career and that's just so exciting for all of us.
"This is my second season with Mercedes and it now feels like I am a fully-fledged member of the team and that we are nurturing the great relationship we built last year. But it is still going to be a big learning year for all of us. There is so much new technology on these cars and so much information to take in and filter out to get down to what really matters, it's going to be a big challenge with changes to driving style and race strategies, too.
"It has probably been the shortest winter I have ever had out of the car. I spent Christmas and New Year training in the mountains and I even put a turbo on my snowmobile, so that I could get used to the feel of a vehicle delivering power in that way, which was pretty awesome.
"And I'm excited to see the number 44 on my car again. It's the number I had when I started racing go-karts - the number plate on my Dad's car had a 44 on it, which is where it came from - and I won my first British championship with it, so it has been the family number ever since. Fingers crossed it will bring us luck as it did back then."
Hamilton will once again be partnered by boyhood friend Rosberg who, much to the delight of commentators around the world, will race with a black helmet this year making it easier to distinguish him from his team-mate.
"I am massively excited ahead of getting in the car properly, after our short shakedown at Silverstone last Friday," the German said.
"It's been a really intense period and I am just so looking forward to driving the car. This year will be much more complex with all the new technologies and I think it's great; it will help make the sport really contemporary. It's all focused on being more fuel efficient and using Hybrid energy, which for me is a good route and something that will make the racing even more interesting.
"After finishing the Pirelli test last December in Bahrain, it's only been a month away from the car for me and that's a positive because it means I will be up and running straight away. We have three tests coming up and, as always, the track time will be very limited. So it's going to be a massive mission to get ready and reliable. I think we are on track but it's going to be so difficult for all the teams and I just feel lucky because I have such a great team behind me. I am confident we can get the job done.
"I have completely changed my helmet design for the new season and, of course, I will have the number six on the nose of the car. My Dad wrote me an email in the winter saying it had been a lucky number for him when he became world champion, but that didn't convince me. Then my fiancée said it was her lucky number, too, so that got me thinking a bit more! And then I remembered that I won a championship with this number back in 2002. Hopefully that will be the key to an easy season!"
This season marks the start of the post-Ross Brawn era at Mercedes with Paddy Lowe heading up the Technical side of the team. The former McLaren man, who effectively now shares the team boss role with commercial chief Toto Wolff, is excited about the challenge ahead.
"For 2014 we have probably the greatest change in regulations in Formula 1 history and the start of a new era for our sport," the Executive Director (Technical) said.
"From a technical and also a racing perspective, this is an incredibly exciting time for Formula 1 We are introducing technologies that are new not just to racing but to the wider automotive world as well. The headline is that of improved efficiency and the fact that we will be completing races with advanced Hybrid systems on just 100 kg of fuel sends a great message about the technology that Formula One can deliver. But it is also about the technology that Mercedes-Benz can develop compared with our competition, both for the chassis and the new Power Unit.
"The whole team has done a fantastic job on the management of the project and its delivery. We have hit our milestones and hit our targets but, as ever, we will only begin to understand how successful we have been once we begin running in anger on track.
"The new car is an elegant but aggressive design and, as is often the way, its beauty is much more than skin deep; the internal engineering of the car is extremely innovative and intelligent. Our team can be justifiably proud of its work so far - but none of us are under any illusions about the amount we still have to do before the first race in six weeks' time."
The Sky Sports F1 Online team will be providing live commentary of all three winter tests, starting in Jerez on Tuesday January 28, with live updates from trackside also on Sky Sports News