Few teams in the history of Formula 1 have dominated a season quite like Mercedes-Benz did in 2014. Their two drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, finished first and second in the World Drivers’ Championship standings, while Mercedes won the Constructors’ World Championship by 296 points.
They say that the key to success is the ability to adapt, and Mercedes did that far better than any of their competitors last season following controversial rule changes. Before the 2014 season, it was decided that the cars must switch to lighter and smaller engines. Thus ended the recent dominance of Infiniti Red Bull Racing and Sebastian Vettel and in came the more flexible and prepared Mercedes AMG Petronas.
Between the pair of Rosberg and Hamilton, they won 16 of the 19 Grands Prix in 2014, with Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo winning in Canada, Hungary and Belgium to prevent an unprecedented Mercedes clean sweep. Hamilton’s win at last year’s Malaysian Grand Prix was the first of his 11 victories for the season en route to the World Drivers’ Championship. He surely starts the season, and the Malaysian leg, as clear favourite.
Hamilton told Sky Sports recently: “Anything less than what I did last year is not going to be good enough.” But how does he go about topping first place in the Malaysian Grand Prix as well as finishing with the fastest single lap time? I guess we can only wait and see.