Brains and Brawn lift Mercedes to a new level in Formula One
PUBLISHED: 17:30 17 October 2014 | UPDATED: 17:30 17 October 2014
Before a single metre was raced in anger this season, our EDPF1 podcast crew predicted the destination of the 2014 constructors’ and drivers’ championships – and everyone said Mercedes would take team honours.
"I understand the curiosity but do not worry. Just relax, enjoy and when it is time to know it, you will know it"
So maybe the fact the silver arrows secured their first constructors’ title at the weekend was simply predictable – an inevitable domination F1 was always likely to be left with following such hefty formula changes over the winter.
Maybe – but that would downplay a serious achievement from those at Brackley and beyond.
You could argue Mercedes’ 2014 success was on the cards from the moment Lewis Hamilton bought into the programme and held talks on a McLaren exit two years ago.
And of course, Lewis’ decision feels destined to pay back its biggest dividend over the next three races.
Good week, bad week
• Pole position – Sergey Sirotkin: The Russian youngster got his first taste of F1 during free practice on home soil at the weekend. He’ll hope to get much more action over the coming months and years.
• Stalling – Daniil Kvyat: The other Russian youngster was so impressive again in qualifying, only to find his pace and position disappear during the race. Still, with a Red Bull seat waiting for next season, you imagine Dani will have better days to come.
Mercedes’ success was helped by circumstance – driven by the chance to build their own V6 turbo power unit, rather than buying one in.
And in turn, being able to ensure their car and that marvel of hybrid technology would sit in harmonious and faultless aerodynamic packaging. But it only takes one look at Ferrari to add the context. They had the same freedom to create their own power unit, as well as a car that would work around it.
And they failed where Mercedes recorded such stark success.
A project two years in the making, you won’t see former Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn celebrating with his old team. His retirement at the end of last year – after an apparent ‘bumping out’ of Mercedes – may leave others to revel in the team’s glory this year.
But certainly, this success is as much his as anyone’s – as will be the case when whichever Mercedes driver also ends 2014 top of the pile.
• Given Russia was just seven days on from Japan it was unsurprising that all weekend, most thoughts still headed for a bed in Mie General Hospital.
The drivers’ public show of solidarity just before the start of Sunday’s race at Sochi was the perfect, touching gesture to sum up how everyone surrounding F1 has been feeling since last weekend. And all those thoughts and positive wishes remain with Jules Bianchi now.
It feels right the FIA’s investigation is to look at ways of guaranteeing cars slow down when situations demand it – those very moments are when safety shouldn’t be at the behest of a few tenths.
The fact such measures could arrive before 2014 is out is exactly why Formula One will continue to learn and make sure even in the most desperate of situations, some good can come of it.