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Analysis: How Mercedes' 2016 F1 stats stack up compared to its past success

Analysis: How Mercedes' 2016 F1 stats stack up compared to its past success
Sep 12, 2016, 5:19 PM

As Formula 1 heads to Singapore for the 15th Grand Prix of 2016, the Mercedes team will arrive in the city-state with more wins at this stage of th...

As Formula 1 heads to Singapore for the 15th Grand Prix of 2016, the Mercedes team will arrive in the city-state with more wins at this stage of the season than it managed in both of its title winning campaigns in 2014 and 2015.

This might be the one race of the season where a winner other than Mercedes might be expected, so is the Silver Arrows squad getting ever more dominant? JAonF1 took a look at the facts and figures from the first 14 races of the last two years and this season to see how they stand up.

After 14 races in 2014, Mercedes had accrued 11 race wins, seven 1-2 finishes, 13 pole positions and 479 points. A year later it had scored the same number of wins and poles, one more 1-2, and had amassed 506 points.

Japanese Grand Prix 2015

At this stage in 2016, the German manufacturer has 13 wins, 13 poles, four 1-2 finishes and 498 points.

In each of the last two years, a Mercedes slip-up, mechanical problem or poor start has cost the team three wins in each of those two season – three to Red Bull in 2014 and three to Ferrari last year. So far in 2016, the only non-Mercedes driver to win has been Max Verstappen, who triumphed for Red Bull in Barcelona after Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg collided on the opening lap.

The data, which you can see in the table above, shows that while Mercedes’ win tally has increased at this stage in 2016, it is down on both points and 1-2 finishes.

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Mercedes' results after 14 races 2014 2015 2016
Wins 11 11 13
Poles 13 13 13
1-2s 7 8 4
Points 479 506 498

Much of this is down to drivers from other teams splitting Hamilton and Rosberg on the podium as both have suffered from reliability problems, poor starts and mistakes over the first 14 races of the year.

Red Bull and Ferrari have also closed in on Mercedes in terms of pace in the third year of F1’s current V6 turbo regulations. Those two squads have a combined total of 569 points so far this season – up from the 492 that Red Bull and Williams scored at this stage in 2014, and the 545 that Ferrari and Williams had managed last year.

Mercedes' weaknesses are limited but obvious; they make consistently poor starts under the new for 2016 single clutch regulation and they have a much smaller margin on their rivals on the softest tyres in hot conditions. They are also inferior to Red Bull on a wet track and particularly in a slick tyre condition on a drying or dampening track.

As the table below show, the results of both of those teams have fluctuated since the start of 2014, and neither has provided a lasting title challenge. Red Bull was Mercedes closest rival in 2014 before its power-unit saga and Ferrari’s resurgence last year, while the Scuderia then slipped back behind the Milton Keynes-based team in the last few races.

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Red Bull's results 2014 2015 2016
Wins 3 0 1
Poles 0 0 1
Points 305 139 290
Position in Constructors' Championship 2nd 4th 2nd

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Ferrari's results 2014 2015 2016
Wins 0 3 0
Poles 0 1 0
Points 178 337 279
Position in Constructors' Championship 4th 2nd 3rd

Singapore: has Mercedes learnt its lesson from 2015?

Mercedes suffered a nightmare weekend in Singapore last year as it struggled badly with tyre performance issues and could only manage fourth with Rosberg while Hamilton retired with a power unit problem. Vettel won the race for Ferrari and resisted race-long pressure from Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, who came close to beating Hamilton at the Monaco Grand Prix earlier this year, another high-downforce, slow-speed circuit.

Speaking ahead of this weekend’s race, Mercedes’ motorsport boss Toto Wolff believes his team now understands what went wrong in Singapore last year, but it does not have the confidence to assume it will be the favourite at a track that suited Ferrari and Red Bull so well in 2015.

Singapore Grand Prix 2015

“It's a race where a single problem can cascade into many more as the weekend progresses,” he said. “We have to optimise everything to get a solid result. We didn't manage it last year and, although we believe we now understand why, only performance on the racetrack can prove our conclusions right.

“We are curious and excited to see how it goes. Ferrari were mighty around this circuit last year and it will suit the high downforce design philosophy followed by Red Bull, so we must not make the mistake of thinking we are favourites this weekend.

Rosberg, who is targeting a return to the Singapore podium this weekend for the first time since he finished second for Williams in the inaugural event in 2008, described the Marina Bay circuit as a “Red Bull track”.

 Singapore Grand Prix 2008

He said: “I got my second ever podium there way back in 2008 but haven't been up there again since, so the target is to change that on Sunday. Of course, it won't be easy. This is a Red Bull track and we weren't so strong there last year.”

Hamilton heads to Singapore with a two-point lead over Rosberg in the drivers’ championship and he is a two-time F1 winner around the Marina Bay track. The double world champion echoed Wolff’s comments on Mercedes’ assessment of its tyre trouble last year, but reckons its still too early to tell if it has learnt the right lessons to win in Singapore this weekend.

He said: “The race is a challenge with the heat and humidity - but it's a street circuit, which I love. We didn't have the greatest weekend there last year, so hopefully we're on top of that now. I guess we'll find out in a few days' time! Either way, it's not going to be an easy breezy drive.”

What have your made of Mercedes performance in 2016? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below or head over to the JAonF1 Facebook page for more discussion.
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