Lots of Formula One fans dislike seeing the same team win all the time — as was the case with Red Bull Racing from 2010 to 2013 and Mercedes-AMG Petronas over the last three years — but it’s hard not to respect the ability to maintain an advantage in the “pinnacle of motorsport.”
Many people who follow F1 thought Mercedes-AMG Petronas had this year’s constructor title locked up after preseason testing in Barcelona. So, for those people, Mercedes clinching its third consecutive title at the Japanese Grand Prix was just a formality. For the members of the team, however, it was anything but, according to Motorsport.com.
“To be honest, it’s surprising,” Paddy Lowe, Mercedes-AMG Petronas technical chief, told Motorsport.com. “We thought 2014 was pretty exceptional. I never thought I’d see that level of dominance in the modern era, with the greater degree of professionalism we have in teams these days compared to the past.”
To people watching the races at home, it seems easy to maintain the level of supremacy Mercedes has shown. Others in the sport, however, share Lowe’s sentiment.
In a 2009 interview on “Top Gear,” Jenson Button said, “People think it’s easy leading the world championship from start to finish — it’s not.”
The reason casual observers could think it’s easy to stay ahead of the competition is that they only get to see the work that’s done at the track. The vast majority of the effort that goes into winning a championship, however, comes from team members, which aren’t shown on TV.
“F1 teams are made up of huge numbers of people who learned their trade over many, many years, and you put that together, and if you can put that together perfectly, you create championships or triple championships,” Lowe said, via Motorsport.com.
It’s the experience Lowe talks about, which is the reason many people within the paddock aren’t surprised at the dominance. The majority of Mercedes’ personnel won the 2009 championship with Brawn GP, so under Lowe and team principal Toto Wolff’s leadership it was inevitable they would win again.
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Thumbnail photo via Mercedes-AMG Petronas