Mercedes W03 officially revealed in Spain

2012 F1 cars

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The Mercedes W03 has been shown off for the first time at the Circuit de Catalunya.

As seen in the spy shots last week, the W03 has a pronounced step in its nose, similar to that of several other F1 cars.

Team principal Ross Brawn said: “Notwithstanding the distinctive nose design, which is certainly an acquired taste, the F1 W03 is an elegant interpretation of the current regulations, and a clear step forward over its predecessor in terms of detail design and sophistication.

“Last year, we produced a very bold car and, although its more radical elements didn’t always deliver the results we had hoped for, the experience we gained has been invaluable to the design of the 2012 car.”

Mercedes will have high expectations of the W03 following the strengthening of its technical team over the last 12 months, which included the hiring of Aldo Costa, Geoff Willis and Bob Bell.

Vice president of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Norbert Haug said: “2012 will mark the third season for our Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows works team, which was introduced in January 2010, and our target is to take a step forward in on-track performance.

“A lot of work has been done throughout the last year, not just to design the new car but also to build a technical organisation that is capable of delivering to its full potential, with consistency. Our ultimate goal is to become regular race winners and championship contenders, and so to write another chapter of success in the story of the Silver Arrows which began 78 years ago.”

The team revealed the car is built of 4,500 parts – 200 more than its predecessor – and has a lower “core weight” than the W02, before ballast is added to bring it up to the minimum limit. They added the car passed all the FIA crash tests at its first attempt last month.

Mercedes tested the car at the Circuit de Catalunya prior to the start of today’s test.

Mercedes W03 pictures

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    Image © Mercedes, Daimler, Jamey Price/F1 Fanatic

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    Keith Collantine
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    79 comments on “Mercedes W03 officially revealed in Spain”

    1. Hopefully, this is the car that will give Nico Rosberg his first, long=overdue victory.

      1. For sure, Rosberg deserves his first win! It will really be interesting if Merc is up there this year, and makes it a four team battle for podiums. Can’t wait!

      2. It sure looks good, somehow all proportions fit and this looks like a complete car by Brawn. Its bodywork is really tight, you can see where its already scorched from the exhausts lying under it at the transition from floor to sidepods (at the back where the exhausts exited last year)

        I would like to see both on the podium more regularly this year and that win would be great!

      3. FlyingLobster27
        21st February 2012, 8:50

        That’ll also depend on the size of the fuel tank. I too hope Nico gets Mercedes GP’s first win this year.

        1. I sure hope grandmaster S manages to win them their first race. Marketing and emotion hand in hand ;-)

          1. Yes! Idol S extended contract for 2 more years :)

      4. And Michael’s 92nd victory! But I hope it doesn’t win too much, I still prefer Ferrari :)

        1. but i hope he will have 100th win before retiring for real

          1. Hey why not 150th win whilst we have our heads in the sky!

            1. Well, with a good car, you never know…

          2. And make it 8th WDC :)

    2. Wow, very aggressive nose. Looks kinda good. Makes the Ferrari and Williams version look…………dull……….like they didn’t bother with that part of the car.

      1. Good point, there are many different approaches to dealing with the step. Really interesting except as you say for ferrari.

      2. Yeah, that’s exactly what I thought – a really aggressive looking nose. I think the Merc looks great, I like it!

        (I still hope the McLaren is faster though)

      3. not too aggressive i dont think, just right :) best looking 2012 car by far!!!!!!!

    3. looks good, they all look very happy, hopefully this car can spring a surprise

      1. Yeah, they are all in a kind of “battle of wits” …. Horner told us they were hiding EBD in last season opener, therefore it seems they have nothing to hide this season? ….. lets hope.

        The more reason Newey is nervous a bit? …. time will tell.

    4. Seems to have raised outer edges to the stepped nose, and a smoother inner profile. They may have got around the nose height rules a little better than others..

      1. Yup exactly… That profiling makes the W03 kinda look aggressive…
        I think Force India and Mercedes have the best looking stepped noses. Though I like the FI more… the stepped nose on the VJM05 almost makes the car look like a hawk…

        1. I thought it looked nice, until I saw this!

          1. oddly, reminds me of a Beluga Whale… must be the colour:

            1. That last picture looks much more like FW de Klerk to me.

          2. Hmmm… Well its Force India then… That car really looks aggressive from the front… This one is well… not disappointing… But it looks like they have fit a sharp nose to the front of last years HRT!! Not that i’m saying that HRT looked aweful but in my opinion sharp noses and drooping noses dont go well together….

          3. I see what you mean, that’s hideous. I think I’m going to have to start forcing myself to only look at the 2012 cars from the cockpits back!

          4. Pig ugly at the front, although I concede it looks not terrible if viewed from enough of an angle.

      2. It really does come over as a good thought out desing, especially when compared to Ferrari playing with LEGO.

        1. hahaha +1

        2. when compared to Ferrari playing with LEGO

          Ha ha ha… I like that part :D

    5. Its funny when you think about it, the McLaren MP4-27 is going to look like the odd one out, lol.

      1. strange how alot of the teams have taken mclarens idea of the ovehead cooling just behind the T bar ..yet mclaren have dropped that idea..?

        1. McLaren had the rollbar cooling last year to work around the L-shaped side-pods allowing less air in.

          It’s worth noting that all the Ferrari-engined cars have the additional inlets, be them on top (Ferrari, Sauber) or under the main inlet (TR).

    6. I kind of like it actually. I’m very much used to the stepped noses now, so I can see past them and judge the cars on the beauty of the rest of it. But that colour scheme is just… I don’t know. It does nothing for me.

      1. Last years Merc was a much prettier car… As long as this one performs then it doesn’t really matter… But it’s definitely not a looker.

      2. The colour scheme is really too unimpressive but I like the touch of turqoise. The nose solution is quite interesting.

        1. I dont think you can run that far if they were them… merc = silver arrow Petronas = turquoise

          1. I agree @Mike. The 2011 merc was in profile at least the best looking car on the grid – I really liked it’s high wide nose. Shame it had Mercedes awful colour scheme and was slow. This nose profile is one of the better 2012 designs. Testing this week will be interesting!

    7. When I saw the spy pics last week, I was dissapointed.. Maybe it’s because I’m a fan of the Mercedes AMG team, but this nose does not look bad at all!!!

      looking forward to see more pictures

    8. Looks nice.

    9. CAR looks actually really good! hope it moves as good as it looks!

    10. Any word on the front wing? That is after all probably the biggest rumour surrounding this car…

      1. It sure does look very detailed and intricate

      2. I’m not sure, but it looks to me like the connection between nose and wing is a little bit fat: air duct?

    11. I know they’d always smile for pictures, but do they look particularly pleased with themselves to anyone else? ;)

      1. Indeed, both look extraordinarily happy and the first statements are very optimistic, too.

        1. @Girts Well they can’t really say ‘Oh I don’t like this car and I don’t think we’ll be getting any improvements this year’, can they?

          I hope they can take their team to the next level and join the top 3, I’d love to see Schumi back on top again, and I’m almost certain that most people here would feel slightly happy if he could challenge for wins..

    12. its strange how alot of the teams have taken mclarens idea of the ovehead cooling just behind the T bar ..yet mclaren have dropped that idea..?

    13. Hopefully it’s performance won’t be W03full.

      1. +1 xD

        1. hahahaaha :D

      2. soundscape (@)
        21st February 2012, 11:16


    14. Looks like they replaced Schumi with a cardboard cutout in the first photo!!

      1. yeah. they all look like cardboard cutouts in that photo.

        1. That’s the key! Fake cardboard drivers to save weight whilst the real drivers drive the cars via remote control from the hospitality suite!

          1. And then they can avoid the press when they crash out! Perfect

    15. Not too bad looking actually. I wish Mike Shoe was sitting at a bit more of an angle in the second picture though, it would help obsure the step a bit!

    16. the bit connecting the wing to the nose sees pretty thick what is it hiding?Most likely th f-duct wing

    17. Anyone noticed they went with a total different DRS approach? Where’s the system on the back wing? I looked at the shakedown’s leaked pictures and there isn’t any visible, even though the wing is opened!

      1. I think the DRS actuator is present in the rear-wind end-plates. Lot of the teams had this design last year and eventually almost all switched to having the actuator on the main plane of the wing. Don’t know what was rationale and dont know what made Mercedes revert to the old design.

    18. I love it! Different and impressive, let’s just hope it drives well.

    19. What a great day for Germany. All of Germany is proud and feeling much excitement for 2012 F1.

      1. I really like it that we seem to have a few national teams now.

        The most nationalistic seem to be McLaren and Mercedes, whose drivers are both from their respective countries. Then there’s HRT, based in Spain with one Spanish driver. Ferrari will always be very Italian, regardless who is driving for them. And Sauber is very Swiss but not the drivers.

        Amazing the balance of F1 teams (locations/personnel) is so strongly British-based. Why is that? Or am I wrong and it just seems that way to me?

        Anyway, as this article is about Mercedes: Good luck Germany and Mercedes and let’s have the righteous Schumi comeback many want to see.

    20. What did I say about the W02 last year? Something along the lines of that’s a race winner for sure: I’m saying the same about the W03 this year, albeit more confidently! :)

    21. These black things on sidepods are exhaust outlets? I wonder if they are aimed to power up the DRS…

    22. As others said, they do look happy.

      And there are so many little things they do different this year, which seem to make a lot of sense, so let’s hope they can mix in at the top!

      And then let’s have an all season battle between 6 champions!

    23. For a fan that’s been a big supporter of BAR, Honda, Brawn and now Mercedes since I started following the sport, it would be fantastic to see them up there this year. Even since I saw anything of the W03, I’ve been completely convinced.

    24. Nose a bit like Mig-21! Should be finally at the same speed and maneuver… :-)

    25. So strangely enough, last night I dreamed that Mercedes revealed their car and it had 2 noses done in a horseshoe shape on the front. Thank god that didn’t come true X)

    26. The WO3 looks ok until you see it face on.. I’m actually very dissapointed with the “stepped nose situation” this year.

      The dimensional restrictions really shouldn’t force teams to drastically stunt the development of one part of the car..

      The reason it looks ugly is that it’s less organic.. appearance has always been important when it comes to motoring and motorsport.. Part of the beauty of the sport is to see how closely engineers can mimic naturally occuring things in machinary; suspension, safety structures, aerodynamics. These designs tend towards naturally occuring things like cheetahs legs, turtle shells and falcons. IMO the regulations need to restrict teams in a way that does not restrict this organic growth.

      I hope 2012 will be a tightly faught contest between 6 WDCs and some great teams, but it will always be remembered as an ugly year in F1. That’s unfortunate.

    27. am i the only one who thinks they havent changed their front wing design since the late brawn days? lol.

    28. love how the colour of the mercedes is slowly getting more chrome like the mclaren. have to say the matte silver paint looked bad on the older mercedes.

    29. I’m sorry but it looks hidious.

      1. Forgot to add, but I do hope it gives some good competition to everyone.

    30. Does anyone know why michael made today a few laps in intermediate tyres? He did so last year in a FP in dry conditions and don’t know why. Maybe to know how inters degradate when track is getting dry? I can’t imagine any other reason as with this conditions the information you can take is not notable, is it?.. Sorry about my english!

      1. shakedown?

    31. I feel nervous saying that I think Mercedes have got it nailed but judging by what Nico said about the teams improved cohesion as a collective as well as that being transferred to the car in terms of optimised weight distribution, it just sounds too good to NOT bag a win. They seem to be speaking it up in a way that isn’t aloof or over-confident, but a sense of knowing professionalism and having the facility to make the car flexible to their needs.

    32. Like I’ve said last week the car has nothing eye popping as we should had expected theres nothing more to be done anyways all these cars must have beautifully enginered part under the “hood”.

    33. Probably my favourite 2012 car. Beast looks and, at least imo, an awesome livery.

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