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F1 Record breakers - will 2015 prove the high water mark for Mercedes?

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F1 Record breakers - will 2015 prove the high water mark for Mercedes?
Dec 30, 2015, 10:57 AM

It didn't do much for the wider appeal of the sport, but some of the records Mercedes achieved in 2015 could well last for decades, as the records ...

It didn't do much for the wider appeal of the sport, but some of the records Mercedes achieved in 2015 could well last for decades, as the records they broke had done.

But with big changes around the corner to tyre supply in 2016, chassis in 2017 and engines in 2018, will this season prove to be the high water mark for single team domination in F1? And have the sport's regulators and promoters learned lessons to ensure that the sport avoids domination like this in future?

Mercedes equalled the record it set last year with 16 wins in 2015 as Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg scooped up the majority of the victories on offer. Once again the squad lost out on three occasions – to Sebastian Vettel in Malaysia, Hungary and Singapore. The defeats at Sepang and Marina Bay were blamed on tyre issues, while both Mercedes drivers had messy races at the Hungaroring.

Mercedes broke its own 2014 record for one-two finishes as Hamilton and Rosberg stood on the first two steps of the podium 12 times. There could have been two more perfect scores but a Ferrari driver managed to split the Mercedes duo in Bahrain and Monaco, in addition to Rosberg’s retirements on Italy and Russia.

XPB.cc Mercedes MSP1

As in 2014, Mercedes was beaten to the top spot in qualifying just once – when the German squad was off the pace in Singapore and Vettel grabbed his first pole for Ferrari. With 18 pole positions, Mercedes’ pole percentage record is still jointly held with Red Bull’s score from 2011.

The 2014 season’s double-points finale in Abu Dhabi skews Mercedes’ 81.51 per cent of the points on offer that year but the team’s superior reliability this season bumps up its record score up to 703 points (86.0%). Hamilton and Rosberg only retired three times in 2015 and Mercedes led home Ferrari by 275 points in the constructors’ championship.

XPB.cc Lewis Hamilton MS

Mercedes was not quite as dominant on in terms of laps led as it was in 2014 but it still led 936 tours over the course of the season. Hamilton led 587 laps to Rosberg’s 349, but Vettel crossed the line in the lead 176 times as he spent more laps out front for his 2015 wins than Daniel Riccardo did when he defied Mercedes last year.

Mercedes did manage to surpass its 2014 total of front row lockouts as it took 15 this season. Last year, the squad dominated the front of the grid 12 times but in 2015 the team’s qualifying from was even more impressive. Hamilton was on pole for 11 of the first 13 races of the year before his worst qualifying of the season came with fifth place in Singapore. Rosberg was on top after that with six poles in the final six races.

The Mercedes drivers only failed to finish on the podium six times in 38 attempts and it exceeded its 2014 return of 31 rostrum visits, and ended up with 32. The German marque is now up to ninth in the all-time list with 95 podiums and is now just five short of Renault’s total of 100.

XPB.cc Mercedes MSP3

This year, Mercedes bettered its 2014 total of 33 points finishes in a single season with 35. In fact, every time one of the Silver Arrows saw the chequered flag it was running in the top ten. Rosberg’s eighth place in Hungary was the team’s lowest finish of the season.

How do you think 2016 will pan out? Will 2015 prove to be the high-water mark of the Mercedes domination? Leave your comments in the section below
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