Mercedes says the desire to save weight is behind its return to an all-black livery, after it unveiled its W14 on Wednesday.
Mercedes ran an all-black scheme across 2020 and 2021, deviating from its silver identity, to promote greater diversity and anti-racism movements.
Mercedes returned to silver in 2022 but presented a black scheme during a presentation of its 2023 car, the W14.
Several teams have left parts of their car unpainted, or stripped back, having struggled to reach Formula 1’s minimum weight limit under new regulations.
“We have gone with a black livery for the W14 in the name of performance,” said team boss Toto Wolff.
“We have explored every opportunity to save weight, and this is true with the livery. It harks back to the origin of the Silver Arrows; back then, Mercedes had a white car that was too heavy, so they removed the paint and ran to victory with the silver aluminium showing.
“We have taken a similar approach. We were overweight last year. This year we have tried to figure out where we can squeeze out every single gram of weight so now history repeats itself. You will see that the car has some raw carbon bits, along with some that are painted matte black.
“Of course, when we changed the livery in 2020 the main driving factor was to support the diversity and equality causes which are always close to our heart. The colour black became part of our DNA at that point, so we are pleased to return to it.”
The W14 is due to run for the first time at Silverstone on Wednesday.