Mercedes-AMG F1 W15 E Performance name almost as long as the 2024 F1 season



mercedes amg f1 w15 001

The Silver Arrows is back — literally. Mercedes-AMG F1 launched “the next phase” of its hopeful return to the front of the grid, a silver and black missile called the W15 E Performance. Put the whole make and model together, and the team wins the second-place cup for the longest team name, beating the Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber C44 and Aston Martin Aramco F1 AMR24. First place for character usage, by a single letter, goes to the Visa Cash App Red Bull F1 VCARB 01. If Mercedes were still using EQ nomenclature, there’d be a tie.

Anyway, similar to our sentiment on Ferrari, this is going to be one of the most-watched cars over the 2024 season, and not just because it’s a Mercedes. The team admitted the error of its 2022 Zero Sidepod car, resolving at the beginning of another disappointing opening to last season to start over and build anew. The W15 is a new chassis with a more conventional build and traditional looks. And unless there’s another silly-season shocker in 2024, it will be the last Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 car Lewis Hamilton will drive. Said team principal Toto Wolff, “I believe the previous two years were necessary for us to readjust, recalibrate and reinvent ourselves in certain areas. That root-and-branch approach is never easy. But we’ve made progress and look forward to taking the next step with the W15.”

Technical director James Allison said the team devoted a fair bit of resources under the sport’s cost cap to redesign bits it wouldn’t normally. “[The] cost cap does force you to pick and choose your battles, and there’s no doubt that having a new outer [gearbox] casing as well as at the same time as having a new chassis are two big projects that are going to take a chunk of our available firepower. That is what we have done this year.” On specific car changes, he noted, “A big focus has been on improving the previous car’s unpredictable rear axle. We have worked hard to ensure that both axles, but particularly the rear axle, retain better control of the tire than on the W14. There’s also been some housekeeping on areas in which we had room for improvement, including the DRS effect, and pit stop performance.”

The single-seater’s looks return the Silver Arrows livery Mercedes departed from last year with the all-black W14. Mercedes is using this year to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Silver Arrows nickname, encouraging a layer of bright paint on the nosecone despite the weight penalty, and a three-pointed-star pattern on the engine cover. The team said it reduced its sponsor portfolio, allowing the contrasting colors of Ineos’ “Toto Rosso” red and Petronas’ bright green a clearer background to shine on.   

The W15 takes to Silverstone Circuit for a promotional day. The team will find out how promising the next step looks when pre-season testing opens in Bahrain on February 21.

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