Having won 43 of the last 50 Formula races, Mercedes has redefined the word domination and perhaps much of the doldrums that come with domination of this sort has been muted due to the intra-team battle between drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.
The battle has been heated at times and it’s created some excitement, meanwhile, Mercedes have claimed pole position in 47 of the last 50 grands prix. They’ve won 11 of the 12 races so far this season and that doesn’t look set to change any time soon.
Leading Free Practice 1 in this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix at Spa Francorchamps, Mercedes did so with a new engine upgrade. The customer teams will also have a new upgraded engine available to them when they make their next engine changes.
The teams have been developing their engines throughout the first half of the season with both Ferrari and Honda spending 29 tokens leaving them just three to use for the second half of season. Honda brought significant changes this weekend spending seven tokens.
Interestingly, Renault have only spent 11 tokens so far this year and have 21 remaining. The big gains were manifest in Red Bull’s seriously increase in performance from Canada onwards and they outscored Ferrari and taken second in the constructor’s championship in the last four races. One wonders just what magic they will find should they spend the rest of their tokens.
Lewis Hamilton, taking full advantage of the written rules, has taken all his lumps for the early season mechanical failures that put him behind in the championship until reliability returned and he claimed wins in six of the last seven races and heads to Belgium with a 19-point lead.
Lewis took two new engines this weekend, one in FP1 and the second in FP2. He will start from the back of the grid or from pit lane but he now has two brand new engines—seven total for the year—in which to complete the season. A cunning move with the new engine upgrades and with a points lead, he’s doing everything he needs to in order to win his fourth championship.