Thursday, March 13, 2014

Engine Blood's Guide To 2014: Mercedes

IN SHORT: Silver turns to gold?

HISTORY: A wee bit odd.  Not related to the original Mercedes team, it does still have a championship pedigree, having sprung from the outlet run by Ken Tyrrell which powered Sir Jackie Stewart to multiple titles, which went through a few different iterations to get here - including the smack-talking disappointment of British American Racing and the world-loving, environment-hugging huge carbon-belching corporation Honda.

Enter Ross Brawn, who rescued the team when Honda felt the pinch of the global financial crash, and promptly won the title due to a clever interpretation of the rules.  Mr Brawn's services have been dispensed with recently - Mercedes swept in when things began to sour with McLaren, and now they have a team of their very own, with no need to pander to Ross or Ron Dennis.


Source: The Week (credit: Mark Thompson)
So on the evidence of our last two photos, this is the second most popular take on the concept: a dramatically sweeping nose with a not-quite-walrus look around the front wing.  They do at very least look more like these cars should, which is all we can apparently expect going forward.

ENGINE: Mercedes.  What are you, thick?


6. Nico ROSBERG (GER) - Last year: 6th (171 points, 2 wins - Monaco and Great Britain)

44. Lewis HAMILTON, celebrity motor racing driver (GB) - Last year: 4th (189 points, 1 win - Hungary)

We're not doing the whole "let's compare Nico to his much cooler father Keke" thing again.  He has proved himself to be a perfectly capable, if not exactly memorable driver, who keeps his head down and stays out of trouble.  As such there's not a great deal to say about him, which is quite annoying when that's what you're trying to do.

Lewis Hamilton - Rubbish Or Not?  The debate rages on around the world - though not in Britain, where canonisation has already been completed.  When engaged he's quick, though he drives (and particularly overtakes) like he's on the PlayStation and has invulnerability turned on, which is a real bummer for the rest of the field.  When unengaged he's surly, offensive, accusatory and refuses to take responsibility for his actions.  Which Lewis will turn up this season?  And will it matter, given his celebrity status?

LAST YEAR: 2nd (360 points)

Mercedes finally came to life last year, eventually pipping Ferrari to second place in the constructors championship.  But L'il Lewis certainly didn't have it all his way, and was looking increasingly embarrassed as we approached mid-season, with Britney on two wins and Lewis with little more than a team-ordered third place to show for his efforts.  Hungary changed all that, and the end of the season was much kinder to the celebrity, whose consistent finishes saw him win the intra-team battle.

PROSPECTS: According to pre-season testing, very good indeed.

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