What are the competitive advantages of Mercedes Benz in Formula 1 racing?

In this article, we find out what is the competitive advantage of Mercedes Benz in formula 1 racing and answer the following questions: How many constructors championships did Mercedes Benz win in formula 1? Who are the current drivers on the Mercedes Benz Formula 1 team? Will Mercedes Benz dominate in the 2022 formula 1 racing season?

What are the competitive advantages of Mercedes Benz in Formula 1 racing?

Following are the competitive advantages of the Mercedes Benz Formula 1 racing team over its competitors:

  • Powertrain
  • MGU-H
  • DAS system
  • Aero Balance
  • Race strategy

Let’s take a look at a detailed explanation of each competitive advantages

  • Powertrain 

The powertrain of a formula one racing car is not only its engine but it is the combination of engine, gearbox and energy recovery systems consisting of electric motors and its battery pack. The Mercedes Benz powertrain for a formula one racing car is manufactured by Mercedes AMG high-performance powertrains and it is said to have over 20 brake horsepower more than the competitors like Ferrari and Honda while maintaining reliability.

  • MGU-H

The MGU-H stands for Motor generator unit-heat. It is the most complex part of the formula one power train, Mercedes Benz started development on the turbo-hybrid MGU-H a couple of years before its implementation in 2014. Mercedes Benz has years of experience with turbochargers on V 6 engines and they were able to design a close-packed MGU-H turbocharger along with an electric motor and the intercooler packaging.

  • DAS system

Mercedes Benz was the only manufacturer on the grid with a unique system called DAS. DAS stands for dual-axis steering system. Both the cars were equipped with dual-axis steering rods that could change the toe angle of the front wheels by moving the steering wheel away or towards the driver by a few centimetres. toe-in is more favourable as it makes the steering more responsive and increases the contact patch of the tyre while cornering but on straights, it makes the car twitchy and causes wear on the outer edge of the tyre. DAS gave the benefits of toe-in while cornering and drivers can change the toe for the straight thus minimising tyre wear.

  • Aero Balance

Aerodynamic components like a front wing, side pods and rear wing are very crucial for the downforce of the car. Excessive downforce can reduce the overall top speed of the vehicle however too little downforce and the car will be slower through the corners. Mercedes Benz always manage to set up the aero balance in such a way that there was a perfect balance between top speed and handling. The power advantage from the power unit also helped Mercedes Benz to have a faster car on the straight while maintaining good downforce through a corner on a race track.

  • Race strategy

Mercedes Benz has a huge team of race strategists for every race. The decision to pit for tyre and selection of tyre compound is taken by the strategist. Mercedes Benz rarely made poor strategy calls which gave them the upper hand when it came to race strategy. Thanks to great strategy, Mercedes Benz even finished almost 20 seconds ahead of the competition in most of its races. 

How many constructors championships did Mercedes win in Formula 1?

Mercedes Benz has won 8 consecutive world constructors championships in formula 1 racing. Since the start of turbo hybrid engines in 2014, Mercedes Benz powertrains have been a dominant force in Formula 1.

 Mercedes AMG high-performance powertrains also supply power units to other teams like Williams racing, Mclaren and Aston martin formula one racing teams.

Mercedes Benz AMG Petronas formula one racing team driver Sir Lewis Hamilton has also won the World drivers’ championship for 7 consecutive years until Max Verstappen became the world champion in 2021.

Who are the current drivers on the Mercedes Benz Formula 1 team? 

Sir Lewis Hamilton and George Russell are current formula one drivers racing for the Mercedes Benz AMG  Petronas formula one racing team. George Russell is replacing Valtteri Bottas for the 2022 season and Valtteri Bottas will move to the Alfa Romeo Formula 1 racing team.

Previously famous drivers like Nico Rosberg, Michael Schumacher, Stirling Moss and Juan Manuel Fangio have also raced for the Mercedes Benz Formula One racing team.

Will Mercedes Benz dominate the 2022 Formula one racing season?

No, Mercedes Benz will not dominate in the 2022 formula one racing season. In 2022, the FIA which is the governing body of sports introduced the regulation changes in the technical as well as the financial aspects of the sports. Ground effect is making a return to the sports with passive suspensions and this change has caused an upshift in the team ranking. 

Mercedes Benz cars showed promising pace in the pre-season testing but the cars have been struggling with ground effect and thus lacking pace. Mercedes Benz has lost its competitive advantage in 2022 and after round 5 of racing the team is number three in the constructors’ championship ranking.

According to the Driver Sir Lewis Hamilton, no progress has been made in improving the car, the Porpoising caused by low ride height is making the car very unstable on straights and it is becoming unpredictable in braking zones before the corners.

Other teams are also struggling with the porpoising caused by the ground effect cars but Mercedes Benz is struggling most due to its zero side pod design which minimises overall drag.

In order to rectify porpoising, Mercedes Benz is increasing the ride height of the car but this is not the solution as the high ride height is costing Mercedes Benz five hundredth of a second per lap.

Apart from that, the power unit of the 2022 car lacks driveability. The power delivery is not suitable for slower corners and as most of the downforce is developed by the ground effect the cars are very slow, accelerating out of corners.

Porpoising is also causing unnecessary strain on both the drivers, the bouncing is really violent on the straights and unlike Ferrari the Mercedes Benz does not settle before the braking zone in the corner. Therefore the Car is very difficult to slow down in the braking zone and the lack of downforce is causing slow acceleration speeds out of corners.

Other articles about Mercedes Benz you may be interested in

How to open the engine hood in Mercedes Benz cars?

What are the Million Dollar Cars in Mercedes Benz?

What are the types of compressors used in Mercedes Benz?

Conclusion

Mercedes Benz dominated the turbo-hybrid era and won every season since 2014 but due to the introduction of Cost caps and ground effect cars, the team is struggling in 2022. Even after 5 rounds of racing, there is no pace in the Mercedes Benz cars and if this continues then Mercedes Benz cannot win the World Constructors Championship this season.

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