2013 Mercedes AMG Petronas W04 Formula 1 Car Unveiled | Edmunds

Evolutionary 2013 Mercedes AMG Petronas W04 Formula 1 Car Unveiled

Just the Facts:
  • The 2013 Mercedes AMG Petronas W04 Formula 1 car was unveiled on Monday.
  • The car was shown at the track in Jerez, Spain, where pre-season testing begins Tuesday.
  • New driver Lewis Hamilton moves from McLaren to replace Michael Schumacher.

JEREZ, Spain — The 2013 Mercedes AMG Petronas W04 Formula 1 car was unveiled on Monday.

The new W04 machine was revealed at the track where the first pre-season test session will be held, starting Tuesday.

Like other F1 cars that have gone on display, the W04 has no major design innovations compared to the 2012 machine, but is, rather, an "evolutionary" machine.

"With the technical regulations remaining stable in 2013 ahead of major changes for 2014, the basic vehicle concept of the F1 W04 is a sophisticated evolution of last year's car," said Daimler in a statement.

However, one of the drivers who will pilot the new machine is the focal point of much attention among F1 devotees. Lewis Hamilton ended a long association with McLaren that dated from his time as an adolescent go-kart star to join Mercedes, with that announcement coming near the end of last season in September.

Hamilton, the 2008 champion, finished strong for McLaren, winning the U.S. Grand Prix at the new Circuit of the Americas in Texas in November and taking pole position for the season-ending Brazilian GP.

He replaces the seven-time champion Michael Schumacher, whose three-year return to competition in grand prix racing failed to yield a victory to add to the German's record 91 triumphs, and joins Nico Rosberg, who did manage to score a victory last year, the first for Mercedes as a works F1 team since 1955.

As for the car, it is one of a handful of new models to take advantage of a rule change permitting the use of a panel to smooth the profile of the front bodywork created by last year's specs on body height that created what was referred to as a "step" nose.

About the only other distinguishing characteristic to casual observers is greater prominence of the silver car's secondary color, the dark green of primary sponsor Petronas, a Malaysian petroleum company.

Scuderia Toro Rosso, the junior Red Bull team, was slated to unveil its new car today at Jerez, with Caterham to follow suit on Tuesday.

Edmunds says: An online "sneak peek" at the new car Sunday evening was a bust when Web servers were crashed by the numbers of Twitter followers. Hamilton, team principal Ross Brawn and the team have great expectations from a large following.

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