Mercedes

Mercedes

After a brief spell as a Formula 1 team in the early 1950s, Mercedes spent 55 years solely as an engine supplier before entering their own outfit again, and have since dominated on a scale never seen before.

2010s

There has rarely been as much excitement about a new team joining the grid as there was when Mercedes did so ahead of the 2010 campaign.

Given they were taking over reigning champions Brawn GP, had a huge amount of resources and had the legendary Michael Schumacher returning to the sport as their lead driver, expectations were high, but they didn’t live up to them at first.

A solid but spectacular first race in which Schumacher and Rosberg finished in P6 and P5 was a sign of things to come. They spent the majority of their first year ahead of the midfield teams but behind the frontrunners. 

They were at least able to pick up three podiums courtesy of Nico Rosberg, who performed far better than a disappointing Schumacher, but never came close to tasting victory and finished P4 in the standings, a long way off the top three.

The 2011 campaign was even more underwhelming for the German company. Again, they managed to build a faster car than the midfield runners but again couldn’t threaten Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari. What’s more, they couldn’t add to their podium tally and scored 49 points less than they did in 2010. 

In 2012, the highs were undoubtedly higher, with Rosberg giving the team their first pole position and win at round three in China, while Schumacher went fastest in qualifying in Monaco and claimed the first podium since his return, finishing P3 in Valencia. 

That being said, the lows were lower, with one of the two cars failing to make it to the finish line in 11 of the 20 races. As a result, the team’s points-tally was again lower than the previous year’s and they dropped down a place in the standings, being surpassed by Lotus Renault and only just finishing ahead of Sauber.

Given their struggles, there was widespread shock and confusion when it was announced that McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton was to join the Silver Arrows in 2013, replacing Schumacher who was retiring for good. 

At face value, the Brit was taking a step backwards, but he decided to take the risk after being convinced by team principal Ross Brawn and the legendary Niki Lauda, who served as non-executive chairman; it would prove to be one of the best decisions in the history of the sport.

With Hamilton onboard, the team finally began to make real progress in 2013. The Brit finished on the podium in two of the first three races before he claimed one win and Rosberg picked up two before the summer break.

Neither was able to add to their tally after that, but three further podiums and regular top-six finishes were enough for them to finish second to Red Bull in the standings just ahead of Ferrari.

With such a strong season behind them and big regulation changes coming as the sport switched from V8 to V6 engines, there was now some optimism in the camp, but even the most positive people in the team wouldn’t have expected what was to come.

They were in a league of their own in 2014, winning 16 of the 19 rounds and also taking P2 in 11 of them. By the end of the year, they were over 300 points clear of Red Bull, their closest competitor, with Hamilton beating Rosberg to the Drivers’ Championship.

Ferrari closed the gap a little the following year but Mercedes never looked like failing to retain their titles, ultimately doing so with ease as Hamilton became a triple World Champion. 

It was a similar story in 2016 with the only difference being that Rosberg was the one to win the championship, prevailing over his team-mate in a battle so intense that he retired at the end of the year. 

The two had clashed both on and off-track that season, and even though it never put Mercedes in danger of losing either title, team boss Toto Wolff vowed to never let an intra-team battle get that out of hand again. 

Ultimately, the Austrian wouldn’t have to worry about it because Rosberg’s replacement, Valtteri Bottas, would be the perfect second driver, always doing enough to ensure his team won the Constructors’ Championship and never hindering Hamilton’s efforts to win the Drivers’.

Instead, the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel was the Brit’s closest challenger in 2017 and 2018, but on both occasions, Hamilton prevailed as did his team, making them only the second in the history of the sport to win five drivers' and constructors' titles in a row.

Things were much more comfortable on both fronts in 2019 as neither Ferrari nor Red Bull were able to pose a threat, and they entered the new decade as comfortably the best team on the grid. 

2020

They produced arguably their best-ever car, the W11, in 2020, and once again easily wrapped up both titles with it.
Hamilton won 11 of the 16 races that he participated in, finishing all but one of them on the podium to win a record-matching seventh title, while Bottas only finished a race outside the top three on five occasions. 

One of only four races they failed to win was the final one, in which the Red Bull of Max Verstappen dominated, and that would prove to be a sign of things to come.

The Dutchman’s team, after dominating the sport in the early 2010s, hadn’t built a car capable of challenging for titles since 2013, but finally did so again in 2021. 

As a result, the two outfits and their lead drivers - Hamilton and Verstappen - engaged in a thrilling and fiery battle that would go down to the final round of the year. There, Verstappen overtook the seven-time World Champion on the final lap in controversial circumstances to prevent Mercedes from winning the Driver’s Championship for the first time in seven years.

Toto Wolff and co did manage to retain the constructors’ title though, becoming the first team ever to win eight in a row. 

They opted to replace Bottas with the exciting George Russell for the 2022 campaign and headed into a new era of the sport - with widespread regulation changes being introduced - with one of the best lineups, seemingly well placed to continue their remarkable run at the front of the field. 

Max Verstappen nieuws