How Mercedes Plan to Avoid Ferrari/Williams Style Downfall in F1

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With a classic one-two finish at Imola, Mercedes F1 all but sealed their 7th consecutive Constructors’ Championship title. Doing so also meant that they surpassed Ferrari’s record for the highest number of consecutive titles won.

However, in a frightening message to rivals, Mercedes revealed that they don’t intend to end their domination any time soon.

The team’s Technical Director, James Allison, believes that from the knowledge gained from previous eras of one-team domination, they can continue their success for a long time to come. The key is to not be complacent.

He said, “After a number of years of success, what has typically broken that sort of golden run has been not the competitors coming up. But the team itself losing its edge.

Mercedes drivers racing in the Emilia Romagna GP
Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in action during the race Pool via Reuters/Davide Gennari

“Stopping realising the sort of things that made them good in the past and maybe just falling victim to being complacent,” is something that Mercedes wants to avoid.

Mercedes Technical Director elaborates on how they have managed to negate complacency

Having dominated over the sport of F1 ever since the V6 hybrid era kicked off back in 2014, the Brackley-based outfit don’t intend to lose their crown and regress the way Ferrari, Red Bull, McLaren, and Williams have.

Allison said, “That is something that we have been incredibly conscious of here. We’ve tried to bend over backwards to counter that risk.

“And indeed to seek excitement from the beginning of each season. Pump ourselves to attack it with renewed vigour each year.”

Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton after the Emilia Romagna GP qualifying
Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas celebrates after qualifying in pole position with Lewis Hamilton who qualified in P2 Pool via REUTERS/Luca Bruno

To that extent, Allison cited an example of the team’s continued development regarding their 2020 car, the W11. The car that has given Mercedes the title with 4 races still to go and has won 11 of the 13 races this season.

He said, “We faced a choice with where to go with the 2020 car. We had a good car in 2019. We did well, and the regs weren’t very different. So why not keep chugging along in the same fashion for 2020?

“But we chose not to do that. We chose to take some different directions with the car. Specifically on the front brake drums, on the body work around the intakes and the rear suspensions.”

And boy, have those developments paid off. They seem unstoppable at the moment, and with the regulations for next year preventing any major upgrades, you wouldn’t want to bet against them as they seek to win an 8th consecutive title.

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