Designed from the ground up as an integrated project between the Mercedes AMG engineers based at Brackley and Brixworth in the U.K., the W05 marks an historic milestone in a landmark year when Mercedes-Benz celebrates 120 years of motorsport competition and 80 years since the first of its Silver Arrows race cars.
The 2014 F1 season marks one of the biggest changes in regulations in the sport’s history and the W05 has been designed to meet the challenges, the biggest of which has been integrating the new turbocharged 1.6-liter V-6 engine and associated Energy Recovery System (ERS). Mercedes AMG is using its own PU106A power unit, in development since 2011.
The engine has a rev limit of 15,000 rpm and delivers a peak output of about 600 horsepower. The ERS delivers an additional 120 kilowatts (161 horsepower) when required. It consists of two electric motor-generators: one either helping drive the car or topping up the batteries, and the second either helping spool up the turbo or also topping up the batteries.
An eight-speed gearbox is used, but teams have just one set of eight ratios for the whole season, meaning the same ratios for every race track. Another challenge is the 100-kilogram (220-pound) fuel load limit, and then there's also a fuel flow limit of 100 kilograms per hour to deal with. The end result of all the changes are cars that offer similar performance to previous seasons, but with around 30 percent less fuel consumption.
The aerodynamic regulations have also seen significant changes for the new season. It comprises three main elements. First, the front wing has been narrowed. Second, at the rear, the cars have been affected by the loss of exhaust blowing. Finally, the rear wing has been altered with the elimination of the lower rear wing and about a 10 percent reduction in the ‘legality box’ for the upper rear wing, from 220 millimeters down to 200 millimeters.
Testing of the W05 commences later today, with drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton on hand to stretch its legs on the race track in Jerez. Interestingly, the team is yet to name a replacement for former team principal Ross Brawn, who quit at the end of last season.
Below are some of the other 2014 F1 cars to have been revealed: