Mercedes presents the W15

Mercedes became the penultimate team to launch their 2024 challenger with the W15 and this will be the last Formula 1 racing car that Lewis Hamilton will drive before moving to rival Ferrari next season.

Following the online presentation, the W15 will make its track debut on the short international version of Silverstone, with Hamilton and his teammate George Russell performing a 15km demo run.

This year’s car is hugely significant for the Brackley-based team after two disappointing seasons since the start of the current high downforce regulations era in 2022.

The W13 struggled badly with bouncing and porpoising, and while Russell scored a victory at Interlagos, the team dropped to third in the constructors’ championship.

Last year’s W14 did not represent the hope for step and underwent a major revamp after just a few races.

It failed to take a win in a season dominated by Red Bull and the team scored fewer points than the previous season, although it did move ahead of Ferrari to claim second in the constructors’ championship.

The team underwent a restructuring, with Mike Elliott moving to the role of chief technical officer and James Allison swapping job title and returning to frontline action as technical director. Elliott subsequently left the team later.

The W15 is thus the first car designed and developed overseen by Allison, and it represents a major change from its predecessor as the team attempts to close the gap to pacesetters Red Bull Racing.

“We’re changing the concept,” team principal Toto Wolff noted recently. “We’re completely moving away from how we laid out the chassis, the weight distribution, the airflow.

“Literally there’s almost every component being changed because only by doing that, I think we have a chance.

“We could get it wrong also. So between not gaining what we expect, to catching up and making a big step, and competing at the front, anything is possible.”

The W15 certainly looks nice with silver and black on the livery. Hopefully this car is fast and can finally give a victory for Hamilton.

3 thoughts to “Mercedes presents the W15”

  1. Mercedes technical director James Allison has said the team’s new W15 Formula 1 car should give its drivers a more “reassuring” rear end and better straightline speed in 2024.

    “A big focus has been on improving the previous car’s unpredictable rear axle, which the drivers often referred to as spiteful,” he said. “We have worked on that to try and create a car that is reassuring to the drivers.

    “At the beginning of a corner when you’re hard on the brakes and turning in, the rear needs to feel rock solid. And then as you get towards the apex, the car needs to feel progressively more nimble, and eager, to turn. We have been trying to build that into the car.”

    “We’ve also worked hard to create a less draggy car, and to add performance in the corners,” he said. “There’s also been some housekeeping on areas in which we had room for improvement, including the DRS effect, and pitstop performance.

    “We were always very good at delivering a pitstop in a repeatable time, which is the key thing for a pitstop. The repeatable time that we could do our pitstops in was still three to four tenths slower than the best teams, though. So hopefully we will have moved in the right direction there.”

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