by Craig Woolard, Last Word on Motor Sport
Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix saw Mercedes F1 secure their 27th one-two finish since the V6 turbo hybrid era of Formula One began 52 races ago. It was their 45th victory of this era as well. They may seem invincible, but the Brackley-based team has managed to not take the silverware on a few occasions. Other drivers were able to pounce on mistakes, reliability, car setup, poor strategy or a bit of bad luck. With regulation changes coming in 2017, many hope that the likes of Ferrari, Red Bull, McLaren-Honda and Renault will be able to challenge the Silver Arrows. In the meantime, why are Mercedes so strong and just how can they be beaten?
The Mercedes F1 team started very early on their car for 2014, and more importantly on their power unit. Their novel power unit design allows for a tightly-packaged car. This allows for a better chassis without losing performance from the power unit or having too much risk with reliability. They started the 2014 season with the best combination on the grid. Only once have they been beaten by outright pace. Combine that with two very good drivers in Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, and there is a combination which appears impossible to beat.