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Mercedes F1 Quarter-Season Review

Post Date: 24th May 2018

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After 5 races the Mercedes team have plenty to be thankful for, especially after a few instances where mistakes have lead to Hamilton and Bottas slipping down in the finishing places. With both Red Bull and Ferrari breathing down their necks, both drivers have done particularly well to take 1st and 3rd place in the standings, especially with the resurgence of Sebastian Vettel to deal with.

After a quarter of the season down and with Monaco taking place on Sunday 27th May, we thought we should do a quick recap of the season so far and make a note of how the Mercedes team is doing at this stage.

Australia

Result:

1st – Sebastian Vettel

2nd – Lewis Hamilton

3rd – Kimi Raikkonen

After controlling the majority of the race in Melbourne, Lewis Hamilton was leapfrogged by Sebastian Vettel, who took advantage of a mistake by the Haas team in pit stopping and a miscalculation by Mercedes during a virtual safety car. By Vettel running longer he ended up ahead of Hamilton, putting the Mercedes into 2nd place by the end of the race.

Not the ideal start for Hamilton, especially when it was a technical issue rather than a direct mistake from the driver. However, with it being the first race there is always space for minor issues, and Hamilton still got points on the board. Bottas on the other hand got off to a slow start coming in 8th place.

Bahrain

Result:

1st – Sebastian Vettel

2nd – Valtteri Bottas

3rd – Lewis Hamilton

The second circuit took place in Bahrain, but once again Mercedes couldn’t muster an efficient race to challenge Sebastian Vettel. Hamilton only started in 9th place, so did very well to reach the podium in 3rd place, but it was Bottas that came out on top between the Mercedes drivers. Vettel’s ability to manage his tyres ensured that he fended off both drivers and took the top spot.

Despite Vettel finishing 1st for the second time in two races, the overall race for Mercedes was deemed a success due to both drivers getting a podium finish. Raikkonen’s race was cut short for him when he accidentally ran over a Ferrari mechanic after a swift pit stop. Thankfully the mechanic was ok but the incident dented the team performance for Ferrari overall.

China

Result:

1st – Daniel Ricciardo

2nd – Valtteri Bottas

3rd – Kimi Raikkonen

A poor pit stop strategy for Hamilton meant that he missed on a much-needed podium finish, but thankfully so did his main rival. Once again it came down to the luck of the draw when a safety car was implemented with Daniel Ricciardo capitalising with a quick change to soft tyres. Before the safety car he was running in fifth but with the drivers in front of him all running on older tyres, he made several key overtakes to make his way into 1st position.

Bottas hung on to take second but Hamilton could only manage fourth. Thankfully, with Vettel only finishing in 8th place it meant that it wasn’t too damaging to Hamilton’s chances in the standings, cutting the lead to just 9 points. All-in-all, a Mercedes success.

Azerbaijan

Result:

1st – Lewis Hamilton

2nd – Kimi Raikkonen

3rd – Sergio Perez

At last, a safety car deployment finally went Hamilton’s way, giving him the stroke of luck he needed to finish the race in 1st position. However, it looked for the majority of the Azerbaijan circuit that his Mercedes colleague Bottas would be standing on the podium ahead of him – if not for a puncture just a few laps from the end of the race put him out altogether.

This was the win that Hamilton needed, and with Vettel slowed up by a poor pit stop strategy as well as chaos after both Red Bull cars collided with each other, this handed Hamilton the lead and the points.

Spain

Result:

1st – Lewis Hamilton

2nd – Valtteri Bottas

3rd – Max Verstappen

It was the fifth race of the season that proved the most successful for the Mercedes team, with a perfect 1-2 finish for both drivers meaning maximum points, as well as Vettel only finishing in 4th position. It moved Hamilton into the lead by 17 points in the championship and continued winning form which should put him in a great position for Monaco.

Summary

Overall the season didn’t start perfectly, but both Mercedes drivers have managed to make up significant ground and reduce the amount of errors on track. They will want to carry on their winning form over the next few races, but should expect stiff competition from Ferrari in particular.

For any information regarding new and used Mercedes parts or if you would like to scrap your car, get in touch with Dronsfields today.

 

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