Mercedes-AMG have finally launched their 2021 challenger, the W12, to the world although Valtteri had shown us the car hours before the official reveal on social media. With more blue, and a lot more AMG, and some silver back, the car has had mixed reviews but will still look sleek on track. This year’s livery is very different from last year’s, let’s hope their on-track performance stays exactly the same.
The 2021 Mercedes livery has some really attractive new features, but some questionable elements too. The blue on the front wing, which has been added to the blue streak down the car and the rear wing, really pops against the black bodywork. This is also the case for the dark red INEOS logos throughout the W12. These elements of colour on the dark car look really smart both on and off the track.
The one major change on the livery is the slow inclusion of more silver after the change to a black livery for the 2020 season. Last year this was seen with the silver stars throughout the rear of the bodywork. This year these stars have been replaced with AMG logos, inspiring a lot of discussion online. It is a strange change which will take some getting used to. This doesn’t mean it’s not a good change however. The designers have been very innovative when it comes to including logos on the car and bringing back some of that silver that we’re so used to seeing.
Mercedes delighted us with a proper launch, almost rivalling the spectacles of McLaren and Alfa Romeo. We were treated to interviews with the drivers and Toto Wolff and James Allison and a proper sight of the W12. Despite seeing the official images half an hour earlier, the car looked entirely different, and arguable better, during the launch. We learned a lot about the car and the Mercedes aims for the year, so let’s get into it.
In terms of the car, James Allison reminded us once again that these cars won’t be drastically different this year. Despite this, Mercedes seem to have used their development chips to improve the floor of the car. The technical director made it clear that they were very excited about the changes to the aerodynamics on the car, but were not willing to show them. Unsurprisingly, the 7-time champions don’t want to give their rivals an advantage this year. Lewis Hamilton did indicate that he was worried that the new downforce regulations and slower tyres this year. He felt that it would bring the cars closer together and that their chances were not as high this year. We will quickly find out if that’s the case. Is it possible that negative Lewis is prematurely worried again?
One interesting change that Allison discussed was the Mercedes efficiency aims. The team are working to ensure their parts are stronger and last. This means that hopefully when the budget changes come in 2022, they will not waste money on replacing parts. This was a very innovative thought and was very interesting to hear about.
It was so nice to see the Valtteri and Lewis again after the winter break. They seemed well-prepared and excited for the 2021 season. They were cautiously optimistic, as we all are, for the year and their successes. Until testing begins later in the month, we can’t predict how the season will go but it doesn’t make us any less excited.