|Team||Mercedes AMG Petronas|
|Car||F1 W06 Hybrid|
Mercedes AMG Petronas
Can anyone stop the Silver Arrows?
Four years after returning to Formula OneTM, Mercedes etched their name into the sport’s history once more with a dominant performance that saw the Brackley-based team win both the drivers’ and constructors’ title in the first season of the hybrid engine era.
Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, contesting their second season together as a partnership, won a record 16 out of 19 races, with 11 one-two finishes. For much of the season, no other team came close.
Such was their dominance that Mercedes clinched the constructors’ title with three rounds to go, while Hamilton came out on top in an intense battle with Rosberg at the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi to give Mercedes their first drivers’ title since Juan Manuel Fangio achieved the feat in 1955.
The success followed a host of organisational changes with former team principal Ross Brawn handing over the reins at the end of 2013, with CEO Toto Wolff and former McLaren technical director Paddy Lowe taking over.
Mercedes had of course been an engine supplier to McLaren since 1995 and more recently, Force India and Williams. However the “Silver Arrow” cars had been absent from the track since a tragic racing accident in the Le Mans 24-Hour race in 1955. Prior to that Mercedes had dominated Grand Prix racing in the late 1930s and again in 1954 and 1955.
When Mercedes returned to Formula OneTM in 2010, it coincided with the return of seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher to the track. However, the German struggled to return his former glory, as his compatriot and team-mate Rosberg impressed.
It was the latter who sealed the team’s first win since returning to the sport with victory in China in 2012 and when Schumacher retired at the end of that season, the team replaced him with 2008 world champion Hamilton.
The Mercedes F1 W04 proved fast in 2013 but hard on tyres and as the season wore on, the team’s challenge to pace-setters Red Bull faded. The team finished second overall, providing a launch pad to a stunning season in 2014. With the rules remaining largely the same for 2015, can anyone stop Mercedes dominating again?