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. Tuesday 3 March 2015

  2. 16:01

    Subscribe for GPUpdate Manager 2015!

    F1
  3. Video: Red Bull puts UE Boom to the test 14:43

    Video: Red Bull puts UE Boom to the test

    After teaming up with Ultimate Ears last year, Red Bull decided to put the UE Boom to the ultimate test.

    F1
  4. Alonso to sit out Australian Grand Prix 12:13

    Alonso to sit out Australian Grand Prix

    McLaren has confirmed that Fernando Alonso will sit out the Australian Grand Prix in the wake of his testing crash at the...

    F1
  5. Force India braced for early regression 09:31

    Force India braced for early regression

    Force India Deputy Team Principal Bob Fernley says the squad is braced for a slow start to the 2015 campaign following the...

    F1
  6. Williams confirms Wolff's on track programme 09:24

    Williams confirms Wolff's on track programme

    Williams has confirmed the details of Susie Wolff's on track programme for the 2015 season. Wolff, who stepped up to the...

    F1
  7. Toro Rosso has performed 'as expected' – Key 08:42

    Toro Rosso has performed 'as expected' – Key

    Toro Rosso Technical Director James Key hailed a positive pre-season campaign for the Italian squad, believing that the new...

    F1
  8. Video of the Day: Berlin ePrix launch 05:24

    Video of the Day: Berlin ePrix launch

    Highlights from the launch event of Formula E's Berlin ePrix, which will take place later this season around the grounds of...

    FE
  9. Monday 2 March 2015

  10. Arrivabene urges concentration at Ferrari 15:42

    Arrivabene urges concentration at Ferrari

    Ferrari Team Principal Maurizio Arrivabene has emphasised that the Italian outfit must remain disciplined as it prepares for...

    F1
  11. Renault 'quietly confident' ahead of Australia 14:14

    Renault 'quietly confident' ahead of Australia

    Renault Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul says the French power unit supplier is 'quietly confident' ahead of the opening...

    F1
  12. FIA confirms clampdown on helmet changes 13:08

    FIA confirms clampdown on helmet changes

    Formula 1 drivers will be restricted to just one helmet design per season after a proposals put forward by figures inside...

    F1
  13. Final Barcelona pre-season test in numbers 11:01

    Final Barcelona pre-season test in numbers

    The final pre-season test at Barcelona saw Nico Rosberg and Mercedes top the timesheets, and Sauber lead the mileage stakes....

    F1
  14. Vettel expecting close fight behind Mercedes 10:52

    Vettel expecting close fight behind Mercedes

    Sebastian Vettel says he expects a close fight between Williams, Red Bull and his Ferrari team this year – albeit some way b...

    F1
  15. Mick Schumacher to race in German Formula 4 10:45

    Mick Schumacher to race in German Formula 4

    Mick Schumacher, son of seven-time Formula 1 World Champion Michael, will make his car racing debut in German ADAC Formula 4...

    Misc
  16. Pons Racing parts company with Tunjo 10:33

    Pons Racing parts company with Tunjo

    Formula Renault 3.5 outfit Pons Racing has confirmed that it has parted company with Colombian youngster Óscar...

    FR 3.5
  17. 09:57

    Photos: Red Bull presents RB11 livery

    F1
  18. Red Bull reveals final RB11 livery 09:32

    Red Bull reveals final RB11 livery

    Red Bull has revealed the RB11 in its final race colours, ahead of the squad's planned filming day at the Circuit de...

    F1
  19. Tost happy with Toro Rosso's preparation 08:38

    Tost happy with Toro Rosso's preparation

    Toro Rosso Team Principal Franz Tost says he is encouraged by the progress the squad has made across its pre-season testing...

    F1
  20. Chilton joins Nissan's LMP1 project 08:15

    Chilton joins Nissan's LMP1 project

    Former Formula 1 driver Max Chilton has confirmed that he will make the switch to the World Endurance Championship this year...

    LM
  21. Video of the Day: Chilton links up with Nissan 08:12

    Video of the Day: Chilton links up with Nissan

    Former Marussia racer Max Chilton and Nissan GT Academy mentor Alex Buncombe discuss their roles with Nissan ahead of the...

    LM
  22. Sunday 1 March 2015

  23. 19:26

    Photos: Barcelona pre-season testing – Day 4

    F1
  24. Pérez upbeat after first experience of VJM08 19:12

    Pérez upbeat after first experience of VJM08

    Sergio Pérez expressed his optimism after he received his first taste of Force India's VJM08 at the Circuit de...

    F1
  25. McLaren prepared for tricky start to 2015 18:57

    McLaren prepared for tricky start to 2015

    McLaren Racing Director Eric Boullier says the squad is prepared for a tricky start to its 2015 campaign after pre-season...

    F1
  26. Lotus: Brake issue caused Maldonado crash 18:33

    Lotus: Brake issue caused Maldonado crash

    Lotus has confirmed that a brake problem caused Pastor Maldonado's crash on the final day of pre-season testing in...

    F1
  27. Rosberg pleased with Mercedes' pre-season 18:13

    Rosberg pleased with Mercedes' pre-season

    Nico Rosberg declared himself happy with Mercedes' pre-season preparations, after topping the combined times at the final...

    F1
  28. 17:08

    Barcelona pre-season testing: Day 4 results

    F1
  29. Bottas tops final day of pre-season testing 17:03

    Bottas tops final day of pre-season testing

    Williams driver Valtteri Bottas set the fastest time as the third and final pre-season test reached its conclusion at the...

    F1
  30. Hamilton explains decision to keep #44 13:06

    Hamilton explains decision to keep #44

    World Champion Lewis Hamilton says he chose to keep #44 as his car number for the upcoming season as it "means more to me"...

    F1
  31. 07:51

    Follow Barcelona pre-season testing live!

    F1
  32. Magnussen wanted Le Mans drive with father 07:46

    Magnussen wanted Le Mans drive with father

    McLaren test and reserve driver Kevin Magnussen says he enquired over the possibility of racing alongside father Jan for...

    F1
  33. Barcelona pre-season testing: Day 4 line-up 06:47

    Barcelona pre-season testing: Day 4 line-up

    The final pre-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya concludes on Sunday and, to keep you up to date with who is...

    F1
  34. Video of the Day: Official Formula E anthem 05:24

    Video of the Day: Official Formula E anthem

    Spanish musician and record producer Nacho Cano had released an official anthem for Formula E.

    FE
  35. Saturday 28 February 2015

  36. 21:12

    Photos: Barcelona pre-season testing – Day 3

    F1
  37. First Ferrari race simulation pleases Allison 20:04

    First Ferrari race simulation pleases Allison

    Ferrari Technical Director James Allison expressed his happiness after the squad was able to conduct its first race...

    F1
  38. Hamilton: Predicting main rivals is 'irrelevant' 19:34

    Hamilton: Predicting main rivals is 'irrelevant'

    Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton says it is "irrelevant" to make predictions over who the outfit's main rivals will be in...

    F1
  39. Ricciardo content with Red Bull progress 19:05

    Ricciardo content with Red Bull progress

    Daniel Ricciardo played down his lowly position on the timesheets during the penultimate day of pre-season testing at the...

    F1
  40. Magnussen feels 'very good base' with MP4-30 18:47

    Magnussen feels 'very good base' with MP4-30

    McLaren tester Kevin Magnussen says the team's Honda-powered MP4-30 feels better in many areas compared to its...

    F1
  41. 17:05

    Barcelona pre-season testing: Day 3 results

    F1
  42. Hamilton keeps Mercedes on top in Barcelona 17:04

    Hamilton keeps Mercedes on top in Barcelona

    Lewis Hamilton ensured that Mercedes remained at the top of the times on the penultimate day of the final pre-season test at...

    F1
  43. Symonds supportive of Manor revival 14:28

    Symonds supportive of Manor revival

    Williams' Chief Technical Officer Pat Symonds says it will be a boost for Formula 1 if Manor can make it to the grid for the...

    F1
  44. Booth: Manor 'very close' to making first race 10:25

    Booth: Manor 'very close' to making first race

    John Booth says Manor Marussia is "very close" to making it to the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, after the team was...

    F1
more news