Tag Archives: Mercedes

Formula One: Mecerdes AMG Petronas W07 Launch

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On the surface, a second consecutive winter of minimal regulatory change may appear to ease the pressure on the Formula One community. The reality, however, is quite the opposite. Progress under such conditions is a game of diminishing returns – making the quest for every millisecond of performance ever-more crucial.

“The biggest challenge for the team over the winter has been finding how we can extract more performance from what was already a very strong Power Unit and chassis concept”, confirms Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, Toto Wolff. “The regulations have remained mostly stable for another year, so the development curve has naturally started to level out slightly. But as a group of competitive racers, this is the sort of challenge we love – to find every last bit of performance.

“After the success of the past two seasons, the obvious target is to build on what we have achieved so far – to continue to win races and Championships. But you can never take anything for granted in this sport – or rely on past success. Right now, all points are reset to zero. We haven’t even begun testing yet, so we have no benchmark against the competition. But we can be certain that they will be stronger than ever, so we need to do the best job out there. In Melbourne, we will see. As they say, when the flag drops…

“We gained confidence after the first Championship title in 2014 and therefore approached 2015 in a slightly different way. But our core philosophy remained the same and 2016 is no different. We are confident in our people – but we always take a ‘glass half empty’ approach. We remain humble, feet on the ground, pushing hard to develop everything from the cars to our wider capability as an organisation in the long term.”

In the cockpit, the Brackley squad maintains an unchanged driver line-up with reigning World Drivers’ Champion Lewis Hamilton once again paired with two-time title runner-up Nico Rosberg. Having locked horns for the Championship in each of the past two campaigns, this intra-team contest is sure to provide a fascinating plot line once more in 2016.

“The battle between Lewis and Nico is both interesting and challenging for us”, confirms Toto. “If you put two competitive drivers in the same team and they have a shot at the Championship, it’s never going to be an easy ride. Not only do we accept that, we embrace it. We also understand that it’s important for the spectators to see top drivers given both the tools they need to succeed and the freedom to race. This is what we’ve done for the past two years and will continue to do this year. They are both professionals. They know that there is a big organisation and a very powerful brand behind them and the team. I hope that the close competition between them will continue as it has done.”

And the talent in the Silver Arrows stable doesn’t stop at the wheel of the W07, either. Mercedes-Benz Juniors Pascal Wehrlein and Esteban Ocon head into the year with a fresh set of challenges to tackle in their development paths with the three-pointed star.

“Looking to the future, we are in both the fortunate and unfortunate position of having developed two of the very best junior drivers in the world but having no race seats available within our team”, says Toto. “We’re therefore delighted to have found them another route into Formula One to continue their growth in the best possible environment. Pascal has a race seat with Manor – a team with great people but one much smaller than Mercedes and with a very different structure to what he’s been used to, so he needs to prove that he has the calibre to be a successful Formula One driver in a new environment. Esteban, alongside his role in DTM, will be Third Driver with Renault – taking part in a couple of Friday practice sessions and tests to make the next step in his development. It’s great to see young drivers progressing all the way to Formula One on merit, through the support of manufacturers and proven programmes like the Red Bull Junior model. Hopefully this proves to be a productive year for them.”

Further afield, there’s change on the horizon for the pinnacle of motorsport. With 2017 set to buck the trend of regulatory stability, the future direction of Formula One is a hot topic throughout the paddock. And there are plenty of positive stories for the current season too…

“We are open to changes in the regulations”, says Toto. “On the Power Unit side we are perhaps a little more conservative because, when the teams and the FIA decided to introduce the V6 Hybrid package a few years ago, it was clear that a considerable development budget would need to be deployed. All four manufacturers did so relying on those rules – and now we need stability to protect that investment. On the chassis side and aerodynamic side, we embrace new challenges as long as they make sense. It’s important that the cars are quicker – that was demanded of the Strategy Group. But also that we still have overtaking and that driving becomes more of a challenge again. But putting these things into regulations is not easy.

“In the here and now, there are a lot of positive stories in Formula One at the moment. As a sport, I don’t think we talk about these enough. The return of Renault as a fully-fledged works team is great news – as is the arrival of Haas, which will hopefully help raise awareness of the sport in the States. For Mercedes as a brand, going back to Germany and finally being able to race in front of our home crowd again is brilliant. And then we have a new race in Baku, where most of us have never been before but which I’m sure will be an interesting experience. We have a 21 race calendar taking in almost all corners of the world, which will be a challenge for those working within the sport but provides a fantastic showcase for Formula One.”

Driver Previews:

Lewis Hamilton

Nico Rosberg

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Formula One: Mercedes changes have swung towards Nico

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Following another Mercedes 1-2 the drivers and team directors offer their thoughts:

Nico Rosberg
Wow – another great win in front of another great crowd! I’m so happy with that one – especially at this great circuit with all this history, which makes it extra fun. It was a perfect weekend for me. I was able to control the race the whole time and won with a comfortable margin to Lewis in the end. The team made a good decision to switch to a three-stop race as we saw that Lewis’ tyres went off very quickly. I look forward now to Abu Dhabi where I’ll be pushing to end the season on a high. It’s good to have secured P2 in the Championship in front of Sebastian today – but that’s never really been my ambition. I want to be first, so I need to raise my game as this year it wasn’t high enough. I want to remember at this moment also that we have to put our sport in a different perspective after the incident in Paris. My thoughts are very much still with the family and friends of the people involved.

Lewis Hamilton
I felt good out there today. I was pushing like crazy and genuinely had nothing left. I really love this track but it’s so difficult to overtake. I was all over Nico but couldn’t get past as the DRS Zone sadly just wasn’t long enough. It would be great to do something different strategy-wise once in a while to mix it up – but as drivers we rely on the team. They do so many simulations that they know what’s best. The three-stop strategy was slower but the tyres wouldn’t have lasted, so it was the right decision. At the end of the day, Nico drove a fantastic race and he’s done a great job in qualifying recently too. Since Singapore the car has changed a bit which seems to have swung it towards him – but I just need to get my head down, work out why that is and get back on top of it for the final race. It has been fantastic being here in Brazil with these amazing fans. There is a lot of love in their hearts. Thank you to the organizers for a great event and see you next year!

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
A fantastic 1-2 finish for the team this afternoon and a great feeling to see Nico secure P2 in the Championship with this win. He put in a faultless performance this weekend with a strong pole position lap and then a beautiful drive today. For Lewis, running P2 was always going to be difficult at this track. As soon as you get close to the car in front, you lose downforce and the tyres start dropping off. When that happened in the second stint he asked about an alternative strategy. But the only option was to convert to three stops which was ten seconds slower in terms of overall race time and would have put his second place at risk to Vettel. Then, the situation changed in our favour when Vettel converted to a three-stop strategy, which allowed us to do the same and control any threat from behind to the end of the race. The boys were pushing flat out to the finish but Nico was able to manage the gap to the end to take a well-deserved win. We’re looking forward to seeing this season’s final installment of the battle between Lewis and Nico in two weeks’ time in Abu Dhabi.

Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical)
Congratulations to Nico who delivered a perfect weekend here in Brazil. He won the race through a great qualifying lap yesterday and consolidated that with a tremendously controlled drive today. Unfortunately for Lewis, he couldn’t counter that and spent the afternoon chasing hard – unable to quite get close enough to try and overtake Nico on track. To us, it seemed a very exciting race as both drivers fought over fractions of a second lap after lap, putting each other under immense and sustained pressure. We originally planned to do a two-stop strategy but eventually converted to a three-stop strategy to shadow Sebastian in third place, even though the three-stopper was about 10 seconds slower overall. But with the relatively slender margin we had to the Ferrari, it was much safer to mimic his stops. There was a point in the second stint when Lewis asked if anything could be done about a different strategy, but the only alternative at that point was the slower three-stopper, with others looking like they were two-stopping, and we didn’t want to risk handing second place to Ferrari. Our policy is to let our drivers race and also to allow them to explore viable alternative strategies, as we have shown in the past – but we don’t let them pursue a bad alternative strategy at any cost. Needless to say, it’s fantastic to take a 15th race win and 11th one-two finish of the season; and it was just as satisfying to see Jimmy on the podium for his 50th birthday. He’s part of the fabric of our team and of the paddock as a whole, and it was nice to be able to recognise him with a visit to the rostrum.

Formula One: Speeds top 336KPH (227MPH) as Nico Rosberg wins in Mexico – Pirelli Race Review

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Nico Rosberg has won the first Mexican Grand Prix in 23 years from pole, with a two-stop strategy. Using a soft-medium-medium strategy, he beat his team mate Lewis Hamilton to secure a 10th one-two of the season for Mercedes and move back to second in the driver points standings.

Behind them, the race strategies were affected by a safety car with just 20 laps to go. This effectively allowed a ‘free’ pit stop, which meant that those contemplating another stop could do so without a big penalty.

The exception was local hero Sergio Perez, driving for Force India, who stopped only once and finished in a points-scoring eighth: reinforcing his reputation for excellent tyre management. Perez was the only one-stopper in the race, with the vast majority of drivers stopping twice and a handful stopping three times: although none of the three-stoppers managed to score points.

An extra dimension to today’s race was added by the highest track temperatures seen all weekend, despite earlier predictions of rain. With 46 degrees of track temperature and an increasing amount of rubber on the new surface, the pattern of wear and degradation seen in practice and qualifying was altered. The extra traction also helped to increase the very high top speeds seen in the thin air of Mexico, with Sebastian Vettel recording 366kph (227mph) on the straight. Williams driver Felipe Massa clocked 352kph (218mph) on the straight even without DRS assistance.

As the race went on and the track evolved, the medium tyre in particular came into its own, with the fastest lap being set by Rosberg (lap 67) on this compound at a pace about one second off the pole position he had set on soft tyres.

All the drivers started on the soft tyre compound, apart from the two McLarens as well as Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen, who started on the medium compound.

Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director: “As expected we saw two stops for the majority of competitors, at what turned out to be quite a complicated race strategically because of a surface that kept on evolving, track temperatures a full 12 degrees higher than we experienced yesterday, and a safety car towards the end of the race. Formula One’s return to Mexico has been a spectacular success, with an amazing and vibrant atmosphere from start to finish. As Nigel Mansell said when he interviewed the drivers on the podium: Viva Mexico! It’s good to know that some things don’t change: when Mexico last returned to F1 in 1986 a Pirelli-equipped car won, thanks to Gerhard Berger and Benetton, and the fans are still brilliant.”

Formula One: Austin – Lewis Hamilton 3 times World Champion!

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Lewis Hamilton clinches his third World Drivers’ Championship in thrilling United States Grand Prix with Nico Rosberg completing a historic Silver Arrows 1-2

  • Lewis took his 10th win of the season, the 43rd of his Formula One career, en route to sealing his third World Drivers’ Championship crown
  • The result sees Lewis become the 10th driver to win three or more titles and the only Briton to successfully defend his crown
  • Today also saw Lewis become the first driver to claim ten or more victories in consecutive seasons
  • Nico Rosberg finished second to clinch his 12th podium of the season and 38th of his Formula One career
  • The result marks the 25th 1-2 finish for the Silver Arrows in Formula One and the 50th for Mercedes-Benz power
  • Both drivers started on intermediate tyres, with each pitting twice for option (soft) compound slicks
  • MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS now lead Ferrari by 200 points in the Constructors’ Championship

Lewis Hamilton
It’s an overwhelming moment. Remembering my first British Championship, when my dad and me drove home singing ‘We Are the Champions’. Thinking about how much my family sacrificed – my Mum, my Dad, my whole family. And also thinking about my fans. They give me so much energy and I hope I inspire them to never give up on their hopes and dreams. The race today was really amazing and anything could have happened. The last 10 – 15 laps were extraordinary – it was just a crazy, crazy race. I was in the lead, then I was fourth and the conditions were really tricky. Nico was driving really well, too. All the way through, I was thinking; “The Championship is there somewhere… how can I get it?” It was so close I could smell it and there was never a  moment I didn’t believe I could do it. It’s just incredible to equal Ayrton, too. My target was always three titles as he was the one who inspired me. There is no one I want to equal now – I just want to carry on as far and long as I can. For any driver, you want to win in anything you compete in – but this is the ultimate goal. Championships mean greatness – yours and your team’s! This Team has been so amazing. I feel incredibly thankful. I thought I would win with this team, so that’s why I moved… and I did!

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport

First of all, a huge congratulations to Lewis. He has driven like a Champion all season and now rightly takes his place in a special group with a third title. I have no doubt there is more to come from him, so if we can keep delivering a car that is capable of doing the job then anything is possible for him. For Nico is has been an unlucky year in many ways. But he has shown his fighting spirit once again today and that will not change in the seasons to come. Looking back at today, we saw a fantastic race from start to finish and I hope that everybody watching was as entertained as we were – particularly the people in the grandstands who braved the weather this weekend. On the pit wall it was a very difficult race to manage, with so many decisions to make and so many marginal calls with the safety cars. We tried to play it fair and square as we always have done and perhaps not every call was the right one. But in the end Lewis had the World Champion’s luck on his side and when you drive the way he has done this season you earn that luck. The first corner was certainly a tense moment and Nico was clearly not happy. It’s never going to happen that a driver is completely happy to see a rival winning. But we have three races left and it’s crucial that we don’t allow today’s incident to have further consequences. We will go away, have a few days of cooling off, and then talk. Looking ahead, we have three races still to go. I have never been in that situation where everything is comfortable and I can sit back and enjoy the race as a fan, so I’m looking forward to seeing our two drivers fight flat out with nothing to lose.

Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical)
What a day! Massive congratulations first and foremost to Lewis. A third World Championship is a great credit to all the hard work he has put in not only this season but over a fantastic Formula One career to date. It is very much deserved and I think he can rightly stake his claim as a legend of the sport. At the same time, all credit to Nico today. He’s had a tough season in terms of luck but has kept pushing throughout. He drove superbly today and, bar one small mistake which handed Lewis the lead, would surely have won the race. It’s been an emotional day – not just for Lewis and the team but also for the sport. We saw a truly incredible race – one of the most exciting for many years – which atoned for what had been a pretty grim weekend. The fans here in Austin have been fantastic despite the conditions and very much deserved the entertainment we saw today as a reward for their dedication.

Formula One: Sochi Stats & Round Up

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What a difference a year makes! Formula One returned to Russia this weekend and for most fans it was fair to say expectations of a great race were pretty low. Thankfully the second running of the Sochi GP proved to be a huge improvement, with excitement through to the final lap.

Congratulations to Lewis on his win, to Mercedes in clinching their 2nd successive constructors crown, and a huge congratulations to Sergio Perez and the Force India team for a well deserved podium. Gambling on an early pit stop during the send safety car period Sergio kept his calm despite huge almost overwhelming pressure to claim his second podium for the team

Congratulations also to Pirelli on the extension of their sole supply agreement to F1 through to 2019. Further details to follow in due course. In the meantime enjoy this inspired Ushanka (pictured) look Pirelli bought to the podium and these fantastic info-graphics!

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