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Mercedes reveals the W12

NEWS STORY
02/03/2021

Just 12 weeks after the chequered flag fell on the 2020 season, Mercedes has officially revealed its challenger for the 2021 season.

The Mercedes-AMG F1 W12 E Performance is presented today in the brand-new race bays at the team's Brackley technical centre, officially opening a cutting-edge facility that has been created over the past 18 months.

The factories have been a hive of activity over the winter, as team members searched for new solutions, opportunities and improvements in their hunt for performance. Long days, late nights, tough decisions and intense deadlines - the combined and collective effort of every member of the team, coming together to ensure W12 is ready to hit the track on schedule.

The W12 builds on the solid base of its predecessor but includes considerable aerodynamic changes alongside improvements to areas as such as the suspension, cooling system and Power Unit.

The black base livery remains for a second season, to underline the team's commitment to improving diversity and inclusion within the team and sport, with elements of the traditional racing silver incorporated alongside increased visibility for Mercedes-AMG.

The W12 will complete its first laps on the opening day of pre-season testing in Bahrain, on Friday 12 March.

"Every year we reset our focus and define the right objectives," said Toto Wolff. "That may sound simple but it's damn hard and is probably why there are no sports teams out there with seven consecutive titles. So many things can happen and it's very natural to get used to success, and therefore not fight as hard for it.

"But this team has not shown any of that. I see the same fire, hunger and passion now as I did the first time I walked through the doors in 2013. Every season presents a new challenge and therefore, a new goal for us to achieve. 2021 brings changes to the regulations, which could impact our competitiveness, plus the cost cap and working on the major rule changes of 2022. These challenges excite us."

The team's 2021 challenger is named Mercedes-AMG F1 W12 E Performance and is the team's first car to use the 'E PERFORMANCE' designation, signifying its closer alignment to the Mercedes-AMG performance division in the future. 'E PERFORMANCE' is the new technology label that will be used in product names and badges on all forthcoming Mercedes-AMG performance hybrid cars - which feature direct cascade technology from F1 and, in particular, the work of Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains in Brixworth.

The team's closer cooperation with AMG is also reflected in the new 2021 livery, with AMG branding replacing the star pattern on the engine cover which now fades to Mercedes' traditional racing silver from the black base livery introduced in 2020. The most prominent colour remains the iconic green of Title Partner Petronas on the front and rear wings, nose, mirrors and halo, with the parallel green and silver stripes on the flanks of the car symbolising more than a decade of partnership between Mercedes and Petronas. The visual identity is completed by the burgundy of team shareholder and Principal Partner INEOS, which features on the airbox and the inside of the front wing endplates. The result is a striking and distinctive look for the season ahead.

This season also marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the team following the announcement late last year that Wolff, Daimler and INEOS will be one-third, equal shareholders.

"The fact that we were able to attract INEOS as an investor shows that we have a strong business case and that F1 continues to be a highly attractive platform for big brands and companies," said Wolff. "We're also seeing a slight shift in the way that F1 teams operate as the cost cap and the new structure move us towards a business model that is more familiar in American sports franchises.

"At the same time, having three strong shareholders in the team gives us even more stability for the future. On a personal level, I'm very happy to commit to the team for the long term and increase my share slightly. I've always said that this team is like a family to me, and I'm incredibly proud of what we have achieved together."

The biggest technical challenge on the 2021 F1 cars has been adapting to the new aerodynamic regulations, with the introduction of several significant changes to key performance areas on the car.

"If you're looking to slow a car down, which is effectively what the regulation changes were intended to do, modifying the floor is by far the easiest and cheapest way of achieving your objective," said James Allison. "The floor is such an important aerodynamic component that small geometrical changes bring large reductions in performance. Once the rules had been established, our task was to figure out how to recover the losses brought by the changes."

That has been a significant challenge for our designers, trying to claw back performance from these regulation changes. The four key modifications to the floor are:

• A triangular cut-out on the edge of the floor, in front of the rear wheels.

• Reducing the span of the rear brake duct winglets, by a few centimetres.

• Reducing the height of the two inboard strakes nearest the car centreline in the diffuser.

• Sealing up the slots in the floor around the bargeboards.

Check out our Mercedes W12 reveal gallery, here.

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