To say that Mercedes have dominated the turbo-hybrid era in Formula 1 would be to say something like during the 1990s and mid-2000s, the Australian cricket team was the most dominant team in Cricket. Two of the most dominant stories of the sport. To quote another example from the world of sport, the Mercedes dominance in Formula 1’s current era has been nothing shy of the streak of brilliance Brazil exhibited in Football in 1970, when the unit were heralded the greatest football team ever by FIFA.
Mercedes have, without much doubt, ruled with an iron fist in the highest annals of the sport establishing new benchmarks of speed and consistency. But as with every glittering story, there comes a set of challenges, speaking of which one has to focus on the team’s recent string of outs in F1’s 2021 season. The only team, however, to have denied the Brackley-based racing marquee a race win on four consecutive occasions is the one that the Mercedes fan truly feared might stand as a thorn in its path: Red Bull and its go-to driver, Max Verstappen.
The last time Mercedes won a Grand Prix in the current season, a year that’s seen Lando Norris at his best, a year where Perez is finely coming into his own, was back in Spain. Since then, it’s been an out-and-out Red Bull-driven domination.
With four wins, one each at Monaco, Azerbaijan, France, and Austria, Red Bull have completely changed the complexion of the battle, which given Lewis Hamilton’s imperious race form as evident by wins in Bahrain and Spain was once again going Mercedes’ way.
The brilliant streak of consistency of the Milton Keynes-based outfit, however, has prompted one to ask the key question, rather make that two:
- Are Mercedes no longer focusing on developing their 2021 challenger the W12 anymore? This is in line with the long-standing belief that the full focus of the outfit is on the 2022 season.
- Or are there some upgrades being planned in the imminent future that could return the Black Arrows to the front of the grid?
And if the latter is true, then how soon can one expect the dominant and powerful F1 constructor to rise back to the top again and give a fight to Red Bull?
Well, as on June 29, 2021, one of the key pieces of news from the world of Formula 1 suggests that Mercedes are indeed planning on bringing some new upgrades. The same will be pertaining to improvements in the current engine and the aerodynamic functioning of the car.
That being told, James Allison, technical director of the famous team, with seven time world champion Lewis Hamilton on board had the following to share:
“We have a reasonable number of things that are going to make our car faster in the coming races, and let’s hope they prove sufficient.”
He would further add, dismissing beliefs that his point of view regarding the supposed upgrades was different to that of Toto Wolff‘s and said: “I don’t think those two things are at odds with each other. And I don’t think Toto has said precisely that. What Toto points out is that next year’s rules are a big and hairy affair, and that they demand a huge amount of our attention. So most of the focus of our factory has switched over to next year, the performance discovery for next year.”
That being said, what the curious F1 fan would await with bated breath would be the introduction of new Mercedes upgrades. Probably that would only make the contest for ascendancy more challenging and spicier than what it has already been.