|Team||Mercedes AMG Petronas|
|Car||F1 W07 Hybrid|
Mercedes AMG Petronas
Still on top in 2016?
Four years after returning to Formula One, 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 and second seasons of the hybrid engine era.
In 2015, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, contested their third season together as a partnership and equalled their record of 16 wins out of 19 races, with 12 one-two finishes. For the majority of a second successive season, no other team came close.
Such was their dominance that Mercedes clinched the constructors’ title with four rounds to go, while Hamilton took the drivers’ championship in dominant fashion at the next race in America, as he became the first British driver to win back-to-back titles.
The recent 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 One 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 teammate 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 the stunning seasons in 2014 and 2015. With the rules remaining largely the same for 2016, can anyone stop Mercedes dominating again?