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 18 August 2017

  2. 17:22

    Follow us on Instagram for the best photos!

    F1
  3. Video: IndyCar's 2018 speedway aero kit 17:12

    Video: IndyCar's 2018 speedway aero kit

    IndyCar technical guru Jon Beekhuis runs through the features on the series' 2018 speedway kit.

    Indy
  4. Social media: Who's winning off the track? 16:02

    Social media: Who's winning off the track?

    Social media is an increasingly important tool for drivers and teams to share key moments and communicate with their fans, but…

    F1
  5. Overview: Formula 1 silly season rumbles on 13:42

    Overview: Formula 1 silly season rumbles on

    While the Formula 1 community has recharged its batteries over the summer break, the silly season has rumbled on in the…

    F1
  6. F1 considering options for second US race 12:59

    F1 considering options for second US race

    New York, Miami, Los Angeles and Las Vegas have all shown interest in hosting a second Grand Prix in the United States…

    F1
  7. Video: What happens during the shutdown? 11:16

    Video: What happens during the shutdown?

    What goes on at an F1 factory during the summer break? Mercedes 'reveals all' in this light-hearted video.

    F1
  8. Alonso: 'Unfinished business' with McLaren 09:54

    Alonso: 'Unfinished business' with McLaren

    Fernando Alonso says he is open to sticking with McLaren for 2018, highlighting "unfinished business together", but needs…

    F1
  9. Mid-season review: Sauber still at the back 08:52

    Mid-season review: Sauber still at the back

    GPUpdate.net concludes its mid-season review series with Sauber, which has remained at the rear of the Formula 1 field as it…

    F1
  10. Video: Keke vs Nico - Williams memories 05:32

    Video: Keke vs Nico - Williams memories

    F1 champion father and son Keke and Nico Rosberg share their favourite memories of Williams.

    F1
  11. Thursday 17 August 2017

  12. Video: How to master IndyCar oval tracks 17:02

    Video: How to master IndyCar oval tracks

    A selection of IndyCar drivers talk about the challenges of racing on ovals, and how to master them.

    Indy
  13. Williams 'very disappointed' with first half 16:27

    Williams 'very disappointed' with first half

    Williams technical chief Paddy Lowe says the team was left feeling "very disappointed" with its results over the opening half of…

    F1
  14. Overview: Alternative stats from season so far 14:58

    Overview: Alternative stats from season so far

    Formula 1 championship standings, race wins and pole positions all get covered, but what are the lesser-known statistics of the…

    F1
  15. Marko backs Vettel to claim 2017 crown 12:34

    Marko backs Vettel to claim 2017 crown

    Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has tipped Sebastian Vettel to come back "even stronger" following the summer break and clinch…

    F1
  16. Video: Sébastien Loeb returns to action 11:27

    Video: Sébastien Loeb returns to action

    Watch as nine-time WRC champion Sébastien Loeb returns to action at the wheel of the Citroën C3.

    WRC
  17. Makino to make F3 return at Zandvoort 10:40

    Makino to make F3 return at Zandvoort

    Honda-affiliated Tadasuke Makino will return to the European Formula 3 grid at this weekend's Zandvoort round, after recovering…

    F3
  18. Ferrari hopeful of avoiding turbo penalties 10:08

    Ferrari hopeful of avoiding turbo penalties

    Ferrari is hopeful of avoiding power unit-related penalties over the second half of the season, despite both its drivers being…

    F1
  19. Mid-season review: McLaren-Honda's woes 08:42

    Mid-season review: McLaren-Honda's woes

    GPUpdate.net continues its mid-season review series with McLaren-Honda, which has lacked reliability and performance…

    F1
  20. Video: IndyCar 'Photo Finish' with Dixon 05:43

    Video: IndyCar 'Photo Finish' with Dixon

    Scott Dixon is the first guest on IndyCar's 'Photo Finish' series as he looks back on his career.

    Indy
  21. Wednesday 16 August 2017

  22. Saavedra gets SPM seat for next two rounds 17:17

    Saavedra gets SPM seat for next two rounds

    Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM) has announced that Sebastián Saavedra will pilot the No. 7 Honda for the next two rounds of…

    Indy
  23. Iannone urges patience for Suzuki gains 16:12

    Iannone urges patience for Suzuki gains

    Andrea Iannone says Suzuki "learned so much" across back-to-back events in the Czech Republic and Austria, but has urged the…

    MotoGP
  24. Video: F1 2017 game 'Born to Be Wild' trailer 14:24

    Video: F1 2017 game 'Born to Be Wild' trailer

    Watch the latest trailer for Codemasters' new video game, F1 2017, to be released on August 25.

    F1
  25. Vandoorne making 'big steps' at every race 12:19

    Vandoorne making 'big steps' at every race

    Stoffel Vandoorne feels that he is making "big steps" forward at every Grand Prix following a difficult start to his first…

    F1
  26. Video: Mansell's Williams FW14B on track 11:02

    Video: Mansell's Williams FW14B on track

    25 years ago today, Nigel Mansell claimed the 1992 world title with the revolutionary Williams FW14B. Karun Chandhok recently…

    F1
  27. Rabat's title-winning Moto2 bike stolen 10:28

    Rabat's title-winning Moto2 bike stolen

    Tito Rabat's title-winning Moto2 bike was stolen from Marc VDS' base in Belgium on Wednesday, the team has revealed, as it seeks…

    MotoGP
  28. Montoya gets sports car deal with Penske 10:05

    Montoya gets sports car deal with Penske

    Juan Pablo Montoya will return to full-time competition in 2018, after signing a deal to race for Penske in the IMSA WeatherTech…

    Misc
  29. Bourdais given 'all clear' for IndyCar return 09:41

    Bourdais given 'all clear' for IndyCar return

    Sébastien Bourdais has been given the "all clear" to return to IndyCar action following a final check-up with medical chiefs in…

    Indy
  30. Mid-season review: Renault's steady progress 09:02

    Mid-season review: Renault's steady progress

    GPUpdate.net continues its mid-season review by reflecting on Renault's slow and steady progress since its full-time return…

    F1
  31. Video: Sounds of Williams' 40 years in F1 05:42

    Video: Sounds of Williams' 40 years in F1

    Williams has released a spine-tingling film of the various sounds from its 40 years in Formula 1.

    F1
  32. Tuesday 15 August 2017

  33. Video: McLaren's Woking Grand Prix 'plan' 16:22

    Video: McLaren's Woking Grand Prix 'plan'

    McLaren presents a tongue-in-cheek plan to add a Woking Grand Prix to the Formula 1 calendar.

    F1
  34. In photos: Formula 1 drivers' summer breaks 15:02

    In photos: Formula 1 drivers' summer breaks

    Formula 1 broke up for summer earlier this month, following an intense first half of the season, but what has the grid been up…

    F1
  35. Video: Formula 1 fans go behind-the-scenes 14:12

    Video: Formula 1 fans go behind-the-scenes

    Watch as Mercedes competition winners get a behind-the-scenes experience at this year's British GP.

    F1
  36. Kallio: Top 10 finish 'like a victory' for KTM 12:54

    Kallio: Top 10 finish 'like a victory' for KTM

    KTM test rider Mika Kallio labelled his top 10 finish as "like a victory" for the manufacturer as he displayed encouraging pace…

    MotoGP
  37. Stroll expected 'adversity' in rookie season 11:40

    Stroll expected 'adversity' in rookie season

    Williams rookie Lance Stroll says he braced himself for moments of "adversity" when he stepped up to Formula 1 and is pleased…

    F1
  38. Dovizioso: Marginal gains behind title tilt 10:38

    Dovizioso: Marginal gains behind title tilt

    Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso says "tiny" gains in several areas are behind his emergence as a title contender in MotoGP, following…

    MotoGP
  39. Redding to show 'full potential' with Aprilia 09:31

    Redding to show 'full potential' with Aprilia

    Scott Redding says he expects to show his "full potential" when he makes the switch to Aprilia for the 2018 season, having…

    MotoGP
  40. Mid-season review: Haas avoids 2017 slump 08:52

    Mid-season review: Haas avoids 2017 slump

    GPUpdate.net's mid-season review series continues with Haas, which has made gradual gains in its sophomore season, following the…

    F1
  41. Video: Importance of teamwork in motorsport 05:36

    Video: Importance of teamwork in motorsport

    SAFEisFAST highlights the importance of teamwork in motorsport with the Castrol Honda WTCC team.

    Misc
  42. Monday 14 August 2017

  43. Video: F1 2017 wet-weather gameplay at Spa 16:32

    Video: F1 2017 wet-weather gameplay at Spa

    Watch a 50% distance wet race at Spa-Francorchamps in Codemasters' new video game, F1 2017.

    F1
  44. Lorenzo: Austria my best race yet with Ducati 15:42

    Lorenzo: Austria my best race yet with Ducati

    Jorge Lorenzo labelled the Austrian Grand Prix as his best race since he joined Ducati at the start of the season, having spent…

    MotoGP
  45. Aprilia backs Lowes to 'express his talent' 14:59

    Aprilia backs Lowes to 'express his talent'

    Aprilia boss Romano Albesiano has backed Sam Lowes to "express his talent" again in the future, following confirmation that the…

    MotoGP
more news