Formula 1 mid-season review: Mercedes

Formula 1 mid-season review: Mercedes

4 August 2014 – As the Formula 1 fraternity enjoys the summer break, GPUpdate.net takes the opportunity to analyse team and driver performances over the first 11 rounds of the 2014 season. First up, we look at runaway championship leaders Mercedes, along with battling team-mates Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.

Mercedes: 9/10

Many expected Mercedes to hold the advantage coming into 2014 but few anticipated that the Silver Arrows would exert such dominance. The team has claimed all bar one of the pole positions, with six 1-2s out of the nine victories it has taken from 11 races. The W05 Hybrid is a frighteningly fast machine. It is unfathomable that its enormous championship lead will be eroded, although reliability has not been bulletproof, with both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg having lost a significant haul of points due to mechanical gremlins. The issues have particularly affected Hamilton, but any ideas of a conspiracy are woefully misplaced – it is simply misfortune and shows the difficulty of running two equal cars at a championship-winning pace. Its pace is such that it could set a record for the most wins by a team in a season, and few would be surprised if it managed that feat. Credit must be given to the team management for allowing Hamilton and Rosberg to race so hard, although it isn't perfect. Niki Lauda's relationship with Hamilton is strong, while Toto Wolff and Paddy Lowe are astute on the business and technical sides. However, as Hungary proved, it lacks an out and out strong arm on the pit wall – would Ross Brawn have allowed the situation to develop as it did? Whichever driver loses the title will need picking up by the team – this is where the loss of Brawn may be felt even more.

Nico Rosberg: 9/10

Rosberg has had fewer mechanical problems but that doesn't mean that the W05 has flattered his ability. It took him until the sixth round of the year to beat Hamilton on merit, but in doing so he racked up significant points, even as the Briton went through a purple patch. Rosberg lacks the ultimate racecraft of Hamilton – as shown by his inability to pass in Bahrain, despite his tyre advantage – but he makes up for it in other areas. His pace is sufficient to keep Hamilton on the edge and when his team-mate goes over it, Rosberg is there to pick up the pieces. He lacked a few tenths in qualifying early on in the season but lately Rosberg had been the form man on Saturday, and, as Q3 in Monaco showed, he does have a ruthless side beneath the film-star looks. Rosberg is also mentally strong, so it'll be interesting to see how he reacts to the business end of the season – this will be Rosberg's first championship fight. Hamilton has been here before and felt both sides of the emotional divide.

Lewis Hamilton: 9/10

Hamilton has been the unluckier of the driver pairing, having been forced out of races in Australia and Canada, while his qualifying failure in Germany put him on the back foot. He showed his class through four straight wins – Malaysia and China were fairly comfortable and controlled, Bahrain and Spain achieved through expert defending when Rosberg was, in theory, on the better strategy. He placed his car perfectly through the race in Bahrain and showed that, out of the two, he has the better race craft. However, there have been chinks in his armour. His very public downbeat demeanour in Monaco showed that Rosberg can get under his skin, while qualifying mistakes in Canada and Austria handed the advantage to his team-mate. Backing off in Q3 at Silverstone, too, was a costly error, and one at odds for an aggressive racer who 'never gives up'. If he can cut out those minor niggles, then the wins will flow. Hamilton is a driver who wears his heart on his sleeve and fans love him for this character trait – but in the heat of battle it can sometimes backfire. With both drivers guaranteed a big haul of points for just finishing the race, any retirements will be costly – Hamilton may only have had two more major issues than Rosberg but at this level that could swing the points tally by as much as 50.

Do you agree with GPUpdate.net's ratings? Join in the discussion via the Facebook panel below

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Friday 28 April 2017

  2. 17:02

    Follow GPUpdate on Instagram in 2017!

    F1
  3. 16:22

    Latest Formula 1 photos: Friday at Sochi

    F1
  4. Hamilton describes 'difficult' opening day 16:15

    Hamilton describes 'difficult' opening day

    Lewis Hamilton described a "difficult" first day at the Russian Grand Prix as main rival Ferrari displayed strong short- and…

    F1
  5. Wolff: Mercedes has 'a bit of work to do' 15:47

    Wolff: Mercedes has 'a bit of work to do'

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says that his team has "a bit of work to do" after trailing Ferrari on the first day of practice for…

    F1
  6. Red Bull drivers 'not expecting much' 15:24

    Red Bull drivers 'not expecting much'

    Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen are braced for an unsuccessful Russian Grand Prix weekend, with Red Bull again significantly…

    F1
  7. Vettel reckons Mercedes is sandbagging 15:01

    Vettel reckons Mercedes is sandbagging

    Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel reckons Mercedes will up its pace as the Russian Grand Prix weekend develops, after the team's…

    F1
  8. 14:36

    Russian Grand Prix: Full Practice 2 results

    F1
  9. Vettel heads Ferrari 1-2 in second practice 14:31

    Vettel heads Ferrari 1-2 in second practice

    Sebastian Vettel led Kimi Räikkönen in a Ferrari one-two during Friday's second practice session for the Russian Grand Prix…

    F1
  10. Video: F1 fans FaceTime Verstappen 13:12

    Video: F1 fans FaceTime Verstappen

    F1 fans from around the world chase down Red Bull driver Max Verstappen for a live FaceTime chat.

    F1
  11. 12:44

    Follow second practice for the Russian GP!

    F1
  12. Vandoorne to get 15-place grid penalty 11:40

    Vandoorne to get 15-place grid penalty

    McLaren driver Stoffel Vandoorne will take a 15-place grid penalty at the Russian Grand Prix, after a precarious engine…

    F1
  13. Video: Ferrari's Russian Grand Prix guide 11:16

    Video: Ferrari's Russian Grand Prix guide

    Ferrari analyses the challenges of the Sochi Autodrom, the venue for the Russian Grand Prix.

    F1
  14. Vandoorne moves closer to engine penalty 11:05

    Vandoorne moves closer to engine penalty

    McLaren-Honda driver Stoffel Vandoorne is moving closer to an engine-related grid penalty after taking on new power unit…

    F1
  15. 10:35

    Russian Grand Prix: Full Practice 1 results

    F1
  16. Räikkönen edges Bottas in first practice 10:32

    Räikkönen edges Bottas in first practice

    Ferrari driver Kimi Räikkönen edged out Mercedes rival Valtteri Bottas during Friday's first practice session for the Russian…

    F1
  17. 08:46

    Follow first practice for the Russian GP!

    F1
  18. Ricciardo hopes for 'bullet' RBR update 08:23

    Ricciardo hopes for 'bullet' RBR update

    Daniel Ricciardo says he hopes Red Bull's upcoming upgrades will give him a "bullet" which is capable of challenging current…

    F1
  19. Vettel: Sochi track made for Mercedes 07:12

    Vettel: Sochi track made for Mercedes

    Sebastian Vettel has played down Ferrari's victory prospects at this weekend's Russian Grand Prix, claiming that Sochi Autodrom…

    F1
  20. Video of the Day: Kvyat goes curling 05:32

    Video of the Day: Kvyat goes curling

    Watch as Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat tries his hand at curling ahead of the Russian Grand Prix.

    F1
  21. Thursday 27 April 2017

  22. Rins out for 'six to eight weeks' after surgery 16:07

    Rins out for 'six to eight weeks' after surgery

    Suzuki rider Álex Rins has undergone successful surgery in Barcelona following a heavy accident during practice for the Grand…

    MotoGP
  23. 15:22

    Latest Formula 1 photos: Thursday at Sochi

    F1
  24. Bottas not worried about team orders 14:43

    Bottas not worried about team orders

    Valtteri Bottas says he is not worried about Mercedes imposing any team orders, expressing confidence that "all of my good…

    F1
  25. Drivers offer mixed views over 'shield' 14:11

    Drivers offer mixed views over 'shield'

    Formula 1 drivers have offered mixed views over the 'shield' head protection device that could be introduced from the 2018…

    F1
  26. Haas moves to Carbon Industrie brakes 13:41

    Haas moves to Carbon Industrie brakes

    Haas will run with Carbon Industrie brake products from this weekend's Russian Grand Prix at Sochi Autodrom, following a…

    F1
  27. In photos: Russian GP from 2014-16 11:23

    In photos: Russian GP from 2014-16

    Sochi Autodrom, situated in and around the Olympic Park, will host the fourth Russian Grand Prix this weekend. GPUpdate.net…

    F1
  28. Speed bumps added to Turn 2 at Sochi 09:18

    Speed bumps added to Turn 2 at Sochi

    Speed bumps have been added to Sochi Autodrom's Turn 2 ahead of this year's Russian Grand Prix, in a bid to stop drivers from…

    F1
  29. Video: What's on Robin Frijns' phone? 09:02

    Video: What's on Robin Frijns' phone?

    Find out what's on Robin Frijns' phone, including photos of an epic karting battle with Stoffel Vandoorne.

    FE
  30. Lowe expects 'strong' Williams in Russia 08:45

    Lowe expects 'strong' Williams in Russia

    Williams Chief Technical Officer Paddy Lowe says he expects a "strong" performance from Williams at this weekend's Russian Grand…

    F1
  31. Video of the Day: Sergio Pérez on Sochi 05:38

    Video of the Day: Sergio Pérez on Sochi

    Force India driver Sergio Pérez talks through a lap of the Sochi Autodrom, home of the Russian Grand Prix, where he secured a…

    F1
  32. Wednesday 26 April 2017

  33. Pagenaud hails 'courageous' Alonso over Indy 15:48

    Pagenaud hails 'courageous' Alonso over Indy

    Reigning IndyCar champion Simon Pagenaud thinks Fernando Alonso's decision to compete at this year's Indianapolis 500 is…

    Indy
  34. Suzuki: COTA result crucial for development 14:18

    Suzuki: COTA result crucial for development

    Suzuki Team Manager Davide Brivio says Andrea Iannone's performance at the Circuit of the Americas will be "crucial" for the…

    MotoGP
  35. Hülkenberg hopeful over Renault race pace 11:27

    Hülkenberg hopeful over Renault race pace

    Renault's Nico Hülkenberg is hopeful that the team will be able to demonstrate improved race pace in Russia this weekend…

    F1
  36. Video: Onboard lap of Sochi Autodrom 10:22

    Video: Onboard lap of Sochi Autodrom

    Ahead of this weekend's Russian Grand Prix, ride onboard for a lap of the 5.8km Sochi Autodrom circuit.

    F1
  37. Wolff encouraged by progress of juniors 09:34

    Wolff encouraged by progress of juniors

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has praised the progress made by youngsters Pascal Wehrlein and Esteban Ocon in Formula 1 this season…

    F1
  38. Monger thanks supporters after accident 08:41

    Monger thanks supporters after accident

    Billy Monger has expressed gratitude for the "awesome and truly inspirational" support he has received in the wake of his…

    Misc
  39. Hildebrand to make return at Phoenix 08:24

    Hildebrand to make return at Phoenix

    J. R. Hildebrand will return to IndyCar at Phoenix this weekend, having sat out the preceding event at Barber through…

    Indy
  40. Preview: F1 field faces Olympic challenge 07:32

    Preview: F1 field faces Olympic challenge

    Formula 1 moves on to Sochi Autodrom for the fourth round of the season, where another Ferrari/Mercedes battle is anticipated.…

    F1
  41. Video of the Day: GP of Alabama cutdown 05:37

    Video of the Day: GP of Alabama cutdown

    Watch extended highlights of last weekend's Grand Prix of Alabama at the Barber Motorsports Park.

    Indy
  42. Tuesday 25 April 2017

  43. F1 to focus on 'shield' system for 2018 20:13

    F1 to focus on 'shield' system for 2018

    Formula 1 is to favour a 'shield' head protection device for the 2018 season, rather than the previously proposed 'halo' system…

    F1
  44. Pérez: Force India has taken opportunities 15:47

    Pérez: Force India has taken opportunities

    Sergio Pérez has praised Force India for taking its chances in the early rounds of the 2017 season, enough to put the team at…

    F1
more news