Confusing Times for Mercedes

Confusing Times for Mercedes

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At the end of an eventful British Grand Prix, Mercedes slid past Ferrari into second place in the Constructor’s championship.  A lead they still hold by 3 points after this past weekend’s German GP.  From the outside, it almost appeared as though the two events had two very different Mercedes teams competing.

In the span of just a few races, Nico Rosberg has claimed two victories (Monaco, Great Britain) for the German team which has helped their championship cause greatly.  Ross Brawn told Adam Cooper that he didn’t see a reason why Mercedes could not claim the title this season.  “Red Bull last year had a great middle of the season. We’ve got two drivers on top form, the team is really gelling now, and why not? We’re certainly going to try…” he explained.  While Lewis Hamilton has not yet won a race for Mercedes, he’s very optimistic.  He sits in fourth overall, 17 points out of third currently occupied by Kimi Raikkonen and 15 points ahead of team mate Rosberg.  “I am sure at some stage my time will come…” said the young Brit.

However, after the German GP, it seems that there is still more to do for Mercedes. What appeared to be a massive advantage gained after the infamous “TyreGate” private test appears much less than first thought. Both Mercedes struggled in Germany and showed similar signs as earlier in the season with performance drop off and lack of over all grip.   Nico Rosberg confirmed what many suspected, “The car didn’t feel so nice to drive today. We struggled a lot with the rear tyres and that´s why we weren’t able to match the pace of the guys in the front.”

Mercedes still seem to have the edge in one lap performance as Lewis Hamilton stormed to Pole position on Saturday, but race pace just wasn’t there. Here is what Hamilton had to say after the race,

“That was really a tough race out there for us today. I didn’t have a great start and the Red Bulls were much quicker off the line, dropping me back to third. We really struggled with the second set of tyres which then compromised the rest of my race. It’s a real shame as the team are working so hard and doing such a good job. We’ve clearly got a good car but for some reason, it doesn’t work in these hot conditions…”

The last statement, “We’ve clearly got a good car but for some reason, it doesn’t work in these hot conditions”, is not good news for the Brackley based team as F1 enters the summer months where most of the remaining races will likely be run in rather hot conditions with the exceptions of perhaps Belgium, Japan and the US.

Here is some useful information from the German GP , courtesy Mercedes AMG Petronas:

  • Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg finished the German Grand Prix in fifth and ninth places today at the Nurburgring.
  • After starting from pole, Lewis finished in P5, despite running as low as P10 just 15 laps from the finishLewis claimed P5 with a passing move on Jenson Button in the first sector of the final lap of the race
  • He made three pit stops on laps 6, 22 and 45, running option/prime/prime/prime tyres, with the best average pit lane time
  • Nico started from P11 on the prime tyre and was running in P16 on lap 49 at the start of his final stint on option tyres
  • During the final eleven laps, Nico gained seven positions and ran on the same pace as the leading cars
  • Nico’s P9 finish, coupled with 10 points for Lewis, mean the team remains second in the Constructors’ standings

In short, there are very confusing times at Mercedes and frustrating for both the team and their fans.

Here is a glance the points scored by the German team thus far this season:

Race Points Earned Total Points
Australian 10 10
Malaysian 27 37
Chinese 15 52
Bahrain 12 64
Spanish 8 72
Monaco 37 109
Canadian 25 134
British 37 171
German 12 183