Many people believe that the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 Team gets a sort of vacation during the winter months of year. The reality is that this becomes one of the busiest and most pertinent times for development. Long before the 2014 season ended, development work began for the 2015 car and quickly became the main priority at Mercedes AMG Petronas.
The team had an extremely successful 2014 season with drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg finishing with 16 wins, 18 pole positions, 12 fastest laps and 31 podium finishes. The team even broke a Formula 1 record by achieving 11 one-two wins in a single season. Hamilton also won the first ever Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom which lead to Mercedes AMG Petronas winning the Formula 1 Constructors’ Championship. As if this wasn’t already a successful season, Hamilton also walked away from 2014 with the FIA Formula 1 World Drivers’ Championship trophy for the second time in his career (the first was in 2008).
It’s hard to believe that anyone could finish a season on a higher note than this, but that is exactly what Mercedes AMG Petronas is aiming for in 2015. The team at Mercedes AMG knows that success is not only hard won, but easily lost with the wrong approach. They intend to both continue and extend their success from 2014 well into 2015 and they are already off to a great start. Just a few short months ago in January, the team unveiled its 2015 Formula 1 World Championship Challenger, the F1 W06 Hybrid Silver Arrow. This new racing innovation has evolved to improve safety, reliability, efficiency and performance. The intensive design process helped to deliver mechanical, structural, aerodynamic and weight-saving advancements that well surpass its predecessor, the F1 W05 Hybrid.
The car needed to evolve for several reasons, including new rules and regulations introduced by Formula 1. There was a limit of four placed on the number of Power Units per driver per season, a reduction from five the previous year. The team will be facing a longer calendar season for 2015 as well; their scheduled races have gone from 19 to 20 resulting in each Power Unit needing to last 25% longer.
This year the builders and manufacturers of the vehicles will be awarded the opportunity to introduce alterations and upgrades to the cars throughout the season, provided they do not break outside of the regulations placed on this new rule. Each team will be allotted 32 development tokens, and no driver can exceed a maximum of four engine designs per season.
Petronas has been a central contributor to the team’s overall performance and success for the past four seasons. Since becoming a title partner in 2010, Petronas has spent over three years developing a brand new range of customized fuels and lubricants to further performance goals. For the upcoming season, they have developed a fuel that will enhance the protection of the engine, provide better combustion and improve the overall drivability of the Silver Arrow.
One of the biggest advantages that the Mercedes AMG team has over competitors is consistency in their driver line-up. They have had the same driving duo for the past three years, and Hamilton and Rosberg know what is expected of them. Rosberg is a 27-year-old German racer that has been with Mercedes AMG since 2010. He’s been racing in Formula 1 since the 2006 season. Hamilton has been racing in Formula 1 since 2007, and joined Mercedes AMG in the 2012 season. The 30-year-old British driver is the 2008 and 2014 Formula 1 World Champion.
The F1 W06 Hybrid debuted at the Australian Grand Prix on March 15, 2015 represented by both Hamilton and Rosberg. While last year Rosberg walked away victorious, Hamilton beat his time by 1.3 seconds this time around. Mercedes AMG’s Hybrid was one of only 11 cars to actually complete the race. Mechanical problems left 15 other vehicles on the starting grid. This is the lowest number to finish the season opener since 1963. The third place winner was Sebastien Vettel driving for Ferrari. Hamilton finished a staggering 34 seconds in front of Vettel, putting the new Silver Arrow in a strong position for the rest of the season. Both Hamilton and Rosberg showed their opponents what they’re up against for 2015 by dominating the race from beginning to end. This was Mercedes AMG’s eighth straight win, and their 20th race in a row with at least one driver on the podium. Hamilton has won seven of the last eight victories for the team.
Everyone from Mercedes-Benz AMG and Petronus is looking forward to yet another exciting year. A strong start has given them even more motivation to finish the year on top. Mercedes-Benz Burlington is proud to see the brand’s team performing well yet again, and exciting to see what the rest of the year brings.
For more information on Mercedes-Benz AMG and the F1 W06 Hybrid, please visit Mercedes-Benz Burlington. The luxury lifestyle location offers a full selection of limited edition Formula 1 accessories and merchandise in addition to more information on the team and the new F1 W06 Hybrid.