Community Talk: Can Mercedes Challenge?

After an exceedingly long absence, Community Talk has returned to the blog as promised. This time around, I asked the community for their opinions on the current situation at Mercedes, who lie second in the Constructors Championship. With Red Bull threatening to run away with their fourth consecutive title, can Mercedes challenge Red Bull in the second half of this season. Here are your opinions;

Although Mercedes have picked up the pace, Germany has showed us that they still have tyre issues on some tracks. Though switching to the harder compounds will help sort out these issues I think it is still a long shot for Mercedes to challenge Red Bull this season due to question marks over tyre performance on some tracks, along with Red Bull’s 67 point lead. That being said though in the current state there is no reason that Mercedes could not challenge for second. They have two strong drivers who are both capable of winning races and even when the race doesn’t go well they will at least pick up some points unlike other teams.

Personally I don’t think Mercedes can challenge Red Bull in the constructors this year as whilst a lot could change, Red Bull have had a fantastic start to the season and had a head start on Mercedes by getting to grips with the tyres and coming out of the box with a strong and developed car that works at a lot of tracks. Mercedes have the brains, funding and drivers to do it but I think RBR have a better designer in Adrian Newey and it’s a little too late for this year, maybe next year!

The simple answer is no. The RB9 is just too consistent in qualifying and race pace. The team also have two competent drivers. Mercedes need better race pace.

No, I don’t think so. Red Bull are quite a way ahead already and I do not think Mercedes have the consistency to do it. If they were as good in race trim as they were qualifying, then yes. But most of the time they are not, so I would have to say no, they will not be able to challenge.

This is a very difficult question to answer since it has various angles which the situation can be looked at. One of the key perspectives is obviously the drivers.
With Hamilton being the new addition to Mercedes, his expectations are huge. Rosberg has also developed high expectations from the team with him scoring three pole this season, with one of those being at Monaco, and ranking consistently in those precious points scoring positions. Albeit they may not be scoring first or second frequently, they have showed superb team cooperation skills as at least one driver has been on the podium for the majority of all the races with the other not far behind.
Another beneficial aspect that has been on Mercedes’ left shoulder is the car’s setup. With the exception of the German Grand Prix on Sunday, the car as a whole has performed effortlessly. Yes the drivers may have complained because the car doesn’t feel “correct”, but there is no doubt it still remained competitive in times when it has mattered. For both Hamilton and Rosberg, you only have to hark back to Silverstone to appreciate the car. On the other hand, Red Bull have always been confident in both the drivers and the car and have rarely suffered any issues to do with feed back of the overall feel of the car, only let down by mechanical problems that give no warnings and end up clipping their wings (haha).
Most importantly, determination will be the winner out of the two constructors. Lewis is yet to score the prestigious first place for Mercedes and is trying to reach it, pouring his heart and soul into it. The same can be said for Webber. Instead of scoring his first win, Webber’s aspiration is to score at least one more victory for himself in his last season in Formula One. People would say he is hungry for it, I would say he is famished.
When it comes to Vettel, he is the man to beat and although people have their own opinions on him – whether they’re positive or negative –  he is best driver currently this season……and the past three. His reactions, attitude and driving ability are what are going to keep Red Bull defensive and en route for the constructors win and striking off all other competitors such as Mercedes.
When it comes to Rosberg, he is the underdog in this situation which is evident by only getting two wins and never being this high up the field before. Therefore, he should be the weaker driver. He, however, is not. Unlike Lewis, Rosberg knows the car inside out, how to drive, how to conserve the tyres and so on and so forth and effectively becomes the better driver. If both Lewis and Rosberg were to learn for each other, there would be greater chance of actually grasping constructors victory and maybe even drivers. When thinking of all the possible outcomes from each different perspective, I don’t think Mercedes could win the constructors trophy. But challenge Red Bull for it, most certainly!

They need to stay ahead after the first stint. If they can do that, then yes.

Will Mercedes beat Red Bull? No. Reason why. Tyres. Mercedes may well have the overall pace to beat the Red Bull’s but that speed falls short when they can’t manage the tyres very well. If Mercedes were like Lotus or Ferrari while having there overall pace they would have a massive lead in the championship already constructor wise.
However Red Bull have decent pace especially on certain circuits and they look after their tyres a whole lot more than Hamilton and Rosberg do in their cars. Unless Mercedes have a quick turn around in tyre management they won’t win the constructors. I think Red Bull pretty much have that trophy locked up once again and with lotus and Ferrari failing to score consistent points from both drivers of each team respectively, Mercedes are the only one who can challenge, but I don’t see it happening.

A huge thanks to everyone who took part in this latest edition of Community Talk. The frequency of these posts will depend on the feedback and support which this post receives. It may well become a weekly series. If you are interested in getting involved, send a tweet to @KGibbsF1. There is always the opportunity to write an entire piece for a guest post, so if that is something which would interest you, be sure to get in contact.


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