Mercedes’ decision to return to an all-black livery for 2023 was driven by a desire to achieve maximum weight savings.
The German manufacturer revealed its new W14 at Silverstone, and the team has decided to ditch the gray color again this season.
However, a detailed examination of the cars showed that unlike in 2020 and 2021, when the team painted their cars black in support of diversity, this time the situation is very different.
Instead of the car being painted entirely black, most of it is unpainted and runs like raw carbon fiber. The upper part of the nose and the engine cover have a matte black color, but almost all the lower elements of the car, including the wings, are not painted.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff did not hide the fact that the decision to be so bold and not paint his car was driven by the desire to save extra mass.
“We were fat last year,” Wolff said . “This year we tried to find out where we can squeeze every gram. So now history is repeating itself.”
“You’ll see the car has some raw carbon pieces, along with some that are painted matte black.”
“Of course, when we changed the look for 2020, the main driving factor was to support the diversity and equality that are always close to us. At that moment, the color black became part of our DNA, so we are happy to return to it,” he pointed out.
The weight saving on the paint contributes to the fact that the W14 has a lighter chassis and has revised front suspension geometry, cooling system tweaks and improved aerodynamics.
Technical director Mike Elliott explained that much of the work done on the W14 was an effort that could not be introduced last year due to cost constraints.
“We did everything we wanted to do with W13 last year, but weren’t able to because of resource constraints or because our focus was elsewhere, solving other problems,” Elliot said .
Teams fought hard to get down to the 798 kg weight limit last year, and many exceeded it throughout the season.
The cars for the 2023 season were additionally supposed to be lighter by two kilograms, more precisely, the weight was supposed to be 796 kg, but this was abandoned after discussions with the teams and the FIA