On the Jerez circuit in Spain, the Mercedes AMG works team uncovered their new Formula One contender. At first glance, the fact that there is no bump in the nose cone was a welcome change. Front wing changes as well, but one cannot miss the narrow sidepods on the new Silver Arrow.

As with all the new Formula One cars, the changes are beneath the outer shell, and mainly focused on suspension, aerodynamics and the look of the car in more “sophisticated” design changes.

Team Principal Ross Brawn commented: "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.”

The new Mercedes AMG F1 W04 sidepod detail
The new Mercedes AMG F1 W04 sidepod detail

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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. Technical Director Bob Bell, along with Engineering Director Aldo Costa started aerodynamic testing last year which led to the creation of the five-element front wing design.

Viewing the rear of the car, one notices the changes from last year’s car to the F1 W04, which was done to “optimise aerodynamic development potential.”

Besides the noticeable front wing change, the ‘step’ nose disappearance by Mercedes has been the best thus far during the Formula One teams’ launches. Not only did Mercedes use the allowed ‘vanity panel’ but they managed to find “a small gain during aerodynamic testing.”

Nico Rosberg had the honor of shaking down the new car on the Jerez circuit. The German gave the Mercedes works team their first Formula One victory at the Chinese Grand Prix, and it also was his maiden win. Over the break, Rosberg kept busy by preparing for the 2013 season as he noted, "I've been working really hard over the winter on my physical preparation, both in the mountains - climbing to over 2,000 metres with ski boots - and also in the Mediterranean, training on my bike, swimming and running.”

Nico Rosberg shakesdown the Mercedes AMG W04
Nico Rosberg shakesdown the Mercedes AMG W04

Photo by: XPB Images

After his shakedown of the W04, he said, “The car seems to be performing well in the virtual world but we have a very busy and intense programme ahead of us during testing to make sure we can deliver that performance on track. The atmosphere in the team is very positive and the people are highly motivated to succeed.”

The 2008 Formula One world champion knows the Mercedes engines from his years at the McLaren team. Lewis Hamilton is looking forward the new season. "It's a very special day for me to officially present our Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow to the world. There is no company with a longer history in Grand Prix racing than Mercedes-Benz and it is an honour for me to tread in the footsteps of legends like Juan Manuel Fangio, Sir Stirling Moss and Michael Schumacher,” he said.

Hamilton added, “They have been flat out this winter trying to pack more performance into the new car and I can't wait to drive it and see where I can make a difference to help push the team forward with Nico. This is a new start for me with the team in Brackley but I have worked with Mercedes-Benz for a very long time now, and I learned one thing most of all: Mercedes-Benz doesn't know how to lose. We are playing a long game here but I know we will have success together and I'm excited to be a big part of making it happen."