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Mercedes launches ‘incredible machine’ to help Lewis Hamilton and George Russell topple Max Verstappen’s Red Bull, but let’s admit new rule changes mean ‘we’re starting from scratch’


Mercedes has launched its 2022 Formula 1 challenger – the W13 – called an “incredible machine” by team boss Toto Wolff.

All but two of the 10 teams have unveiled their cars for the upcoming season, which begins on March 20 when Bahrain launches a new era of F1.

Mercedes have become the latest team to unveil their new car, bringing back the ‘silver arrows’ color scheme
Mercedes launches 'incredible machine' to help Lewis Hamilton and George Russell topple Max Verstappen's Red Bull, but let's admit new rule changes mean 'we're starting from scratch'
Hamilton and new teammate Russell looked delighted with their new engine

Sweeping aerodynamic changes and a cost cap have been introduced for the new campaign, aimed at shaking up the grid and delivering closer, more competitive racing.

The 2021 season has seen title challengers Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen go wheel-to-wheel on an unprecedented number of occasions, and the new regulations are designed to improve racing even further.

The sweeping changes also mean no one knows which team will be best prepared for the start of the season, with Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff admitting they are “starting from scratch”.

“We hope to have a competitive car, that’s not a given with the new regulations,” said Wolff.

“People say we’re going to win another title, and we don’t even know if we’re looking for another title. What I do know is that this team is still capable, thanks to their courage, to get us out of trouble.

“Since the start of work on W13, I have seen an unprecedented enthusiasm among our team members, thanks to the magnitude of the opportunities offered by these technical regulations.


Mercedes launches 'incredible machine' to help Lewis Hamilton and George Russell topple Max Verstappen's Red Bull, but let's admit new rule changes mean 'we're starting from scratch'
Wolff’s Mercedes reacted fastest to rule changes since returning to F1 and plan to do the same again

“We did quite well during the last big regulatory change in the hybrid era and we did well when we moved from narrow cars to wide cars in 2017.

“While we have a good track record, my message is clear: we cannot rely on past successes for this year’s performance, but we can rely on our people, our culture, our structure and our mindset to do the best job possible for 2022.”

Last season Mercedes won an eighth consecutive constructors’ title, although they missed out on the main prize when Hamilton was beaten to the drivers’ title by Verstappen.

The new regulations offer plenty of new opportunities, however, with returning seven-time champion Hamilton looking just as excited as anyone.

Mercedes launches 'incredible machine' to help Lewis Hamilton and George Russell topple Max Verstappen's Red Bull, but let's admit new rule changes mean 'we're starting from scratch'
Hamilton and Russell are in the same boat thanks to brand new rules
Mercedes launches 'incredible machine' to help Lewis Hamilton and George Russell topple Max Verstappen's Red Bull, but let's admit new rule changes mean 'we're starting from scratch'
Mercede’s sleek, flowing W13 continues the trend of shiny new cars

“It just takes you back to being a kid, with this new era of cars we’ve never seen such a drastic change,” said the 37-year-old.

“It’s such a huge change in so many ways that it’s been really interesting to see the designers and everyone coming together to figure out the best ways to create a masterpiece.

“We have no idea how it’s going to go, we’ve been running laps on the simulator, making sure we get the correlation right.

“Something that all of us drivers have always wanted is closer wheel-to-wheel racing, you see more of that when you go down the karting ranks

“But as you progress to the top of the sport it gets harder and harder to keep up with, so I really hope it delivers what they say it will deliver.”

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