What do you do when you win seven Formula One Constructor’s Titles in a row? You make an even better car for the next season. Mercedes F1 team principal will often be quoted stating that the drive to continue working hard comes from being challenged by the Red Bull team. Given how comfortably they’ve claimed the manufacturer’s trophy in the last couple of years, it seems like false humility. But then again, I know nothing about building an F1 car so I better take Mercedes’ word for it.
This is the last car before the new design with the new rules and regulations comes in so it has the best chance of making it 8 in-a-row for the German outfit. The W12 sticks with the black base livery in its campaign to support diversity and fair representation. Unlike the last one, they’ve had more time to work on it and that’s probably why it looks better than the 2020 livery. At the top, you have the red cap followed by silver for the rest of the engine cover which blends into black. The usual Petronas blue is a thick pinstripe along the sides with plenty of AMG logos everywhere and a topographical design to break up the monotony of the base colour.
The driver uniform continues to be black too with the Petronas blue stripes. Hopefully, they’ve found a way to better regulate the temperature to keep the drivers from getting too hot on the sunniest days. It took a while but Lewis Hamilton finally signed his one-year contract while Valterri Bottas had confirmed his spot a long time ago.
Most F1 teams are very quiet about the aero changes for the new regulations but Mercedes seems to enjoy breaking things down for us those less smart. These are the main modifications the team has made to the floor:
- A triangular cut-out on the edge of the floor, in front of the rear wheels.
- Reducing the span of the rear brake duct winglets, by a few centimetres.
- Reducing the height of the two inboard strakes nearest the car centreline in the diffuser.
- Sealing up the slots in the floor around the bargeboards.
Also, the W12 won’t be featuring the W11’s party piece: DAS (dual-axis steering). As the 2020 champions, Mercedes also had to make do with reduced time for aerodynamic testing off-track. For the power unit, the team says they’ve got some innovations along with the usual focus on improving reliability and developing the hybrid technology. It’ll be interesting to see how it pans out for the Black Arrows in race-spec or whether the new stuff will be the team’s new ace in qualifying.
This could very well be the 2021 championship-winning car. I hope it’s not but the odds suggest that it is. So get used to watching pointless close-ups for this car for multiple laps with no competition for most of the race.
What do you make of the design of the W12? Do you think Bottas will be able to mount a serious challenge against Hamilton in what will likely be their last season as teammates? Share your thoughts in the comments below and don’t forget to subscribe to the Auto Loons for more F1 updates and news about cool cars.