Formula 1

Mercedes’ W14 F1 Car Bids Farewell at Magny-Cours After 2023 Testing

The end of an era as Mercedes' iconic W14 car takes its final lap in France before making history in the brand's heritage collection.

After participating in the post-season testing in Abu Dhabi, Mercedes has officially unveiled its plan for the 2023 W14 F1 car. This iconic machine is set to have its grand finale at the historic Magny-Cours circuit in France, marking the end of an era before it takes its place in the brand’s prestigious heritage collection.

The upcoming event at the Magny-Cours circuit serves a dual purpose, as the W14 will play a pivotal role in assisting Pirelli with their tire development. It’s a nostalgic return for the circuit, which last graced the F1 calendar back in 2008. However, this farewell may not be tinged with nostalgia alone, as the W14 goes down in history as Mercedes’ first car since 2011 to go an entire season without claiming a single victory.

Despite its non-winning status, the W14 has some silver linings to boast about. It played a crucial role in securing a total of eight podium finishes between its drivers, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell. Additionally, the car contributed significantly to Mercedes securing the runner-up position in the Constructors’ Championship.

For the Mercedes team, victory has always been the ultimate goal, particularly in their ongoing rivalry with Red Bull. With this in mind, the operations in Brackley are now operating at full throttle to develop the W15 car, set to debut in 2024, in a bid to reclaim the top spot on the podium.

As the W14 prepares to make its final appearance and leave its mark in the annals of Formula 1 history, Rosie Walt, the team’s head of race strategy, remarked during Mercedes’ post-Abu Dhabi debrief:

“Ultimately the aim of all of us here is to win championships and we weren’t able to deliver that this year.

“However, given the performance we had and the challenges we faced P2 is a really good result and so the mood this week is really one of happiness and relief of having delivered that P2.

“Now we can move on to putting all of our energies into going one better next year.

“The W14 doesn’t get to enjoy its retirement quite yet. First, it’s got a post season test in Abu Dhabi, then it is heading to Magny-Cours for some Pirelli testing.

“After that it will join our heritage collection where it will be well looked after and ready to come out for demo runs in the future.

“In terms of the factory, there is no such thing as a winter break. In fact, away from the race team the winter period is actually often the busiest time.

“Many people in the factory have been focussing on next year’s car for months and now that the racing is over the focus can switch entirely to that and it’s all hands on deck to get the car ready ahead of pre-season testing and the first race next year.”

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