Mercedes’ clever ‘bending of rules’ to exploit FIA loophole in W14 design masterclass allows Lewis Hamilton to dream

Mercedes received a great deal of positive feedback when it officially showcased its challenger, the W14, in front of fans.

The livery is a throwback to the sleek black look that the team has been known for, breaking away from the silver colour that wasn’t to everyone’s liking last season.

Even the results on the track were markedly poor for the Silver Arrows, who saw only one race win throughout the course of the 2022 campaign.

Mercedes W14. Credit:
Mercedes W14. Credit:

Perhaps it’s simply just Mercedes’ decision to break away from a colour scheme that didn’t bring them the required results, or just a superstitious hunch to back the livery that brought the team so much success in the turbo-hybrid era.

Either way, fans were ecstatic to see one of the most stylish challengers of this season being unveiled.

It wasn’t just a return to familiar colours that got people buzzing though, with a user on Reddit picking up on what could potentially be a game-changer for Mercedes this season.

The fan asked others to look more closely at the W14’s new front wing.

“Mercedes have managed to ingeniously connect the front wing to the end plate slot, keeping the concept alive after FIA banned it for this season,” the user said.

Mercedes had separators on the car’s front wings last year, but was instructed to change things by the FIA.

The Silver Arrows have decided to connect the separators to the end plate with a view of keeping their original concept alive.

Fans could see how this might just be a masterstroke and the fact that it is within the rules means that the Silver Arrows may have stolen the first march ahead of the season-opener in Bahrain.

A Reddit user explained Mercedes’ clever manipulation of the rules.

“I was of the impression that the FIA blocked the Mercedes front wing to endplate slot, but they’ve ingeniously connected it – from wing to endplate to keep the concept alive.”

A fan summed up Mercedes’ actions pretty well.

“Don’t break the rules, but merely bend them or find the limits,” the user said.

However, others were sure that other teams would voice their complaints.

“Waiting for some complaints about this but a nice workaround,” the user said.

Regardless of whether FIA decides to take it up with Mercedes, seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton could not help but contain his excitement after seeing the W14.

“We’ve redesigned, optimised, and innovated so many parts of the car and that is impressive,” Hamilton said.

“And I love the new livery! It says, ‘we mean business’.”

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