Mercedes remains undefeated across the first eight races of Formula 1’s 2019 season, a run of 10 extending back to Brazil last year, making it just one victory short of equalling the all-time record…
… held by McLaren, its 1988 campaign the ultimate benchmark, with 11 wins to start the campaign; going on to record 15 from 16 overall. Two titans behind the wheel in Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost.
And it’s hard to see any other team breaking the Silver Arrows’ grip on F1, with its six one-two results this year. A string of tracks suiting its high downforce W10… one made even faster with trick new suspension.
… which at the front levers the nose down with a given steering lock, and at the back of the car, simulates rear-wheel steer… for potent cornering, despite a longer wheelbase car relative to Ferrari.
SOUNDBITE (English) GEOFF WILLIS,
DIGITAL ENGINEERING DIRECTOR, MERCEDES:
“What the suspension allows us to do is to change minutely the amount of grip that those four tyres generate at any one point on the track - and the way we do that is by adjusting the inboard settings of the suspension, by adjusting the damping and adjusting what we call the mechanical balance.”
Mercedes is also benefitting from a steel-strength driver line-up, Valtteri Bottas pushing 5-time F1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton, much harder this season… after a dire, unlucky 2018.
In qualifying, it’s relatively even with Hamilton 5-3 up… in the races, he’s 6-2… 187 points to Bottas’ 151. The Finn needing even more consistent results against a storming Hamilton.
One who’s now motivated to stay in the sport for the next five years as a record hunter, Michael Schumacher’s seven crowns and 91 wins the all-time high water mark.
And Hamilton energised right from the initial W10 shakedown.
SOUNDBITE (English) LEWIS HAMILTON,
5-TIME F1 WORLD CHAMPION:
“I tell ya, for me it’s crazy because I’ve been racing a long, long time - it’s my seventh year with the team. The excitement I had today was the same as I had when I first got in a Formula 1 car which is really weird. I was not expecting that, but I’m happy that I have that.”
It all adds up to a dominant outfit, one ready for the next round in Austria, where it wants to put things right after a double DNF last year.