Mercedes launched its 2013 F1 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.
The new F1 W04 completed its first laps of today's 100 km shakedown this morning at 10:21 hours CET in the hands of Rosberg. 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.
“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," Mercedes said in its launch release.
"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.
"2013 marks the start of a second era for our Silver Arrows works team," said team boss Ross Brawn. "The restructuring we undertook at the team over the past 18 months are now growing in maturity and this is reflected in the F1 W04, which is a clear step forward in design and detail sophistication over its predecessor.
"Many thousands of hours of work have been invested by our technical teams in Brackley and Brixworth to ensure that the new car delivers a step change in performance compared to last season.
"We are also hugely proud to welcome Lewis to the team as a works Mercedes-Benz driver.
"With Lewis and Nico, we have what I believe to be the strongest driver line-up in F1 and I know that a healthy level of competition between them both will help drive the team forward."