Who will drive for Mercedes in Formula 1?
To Mercedes' relief, the team managed to secure Lewis Hamilton for both the 2022 and 2023 season. The seven-time world champion will battle it out with Verstappen for the world title this season. Although he had to acknowledge his superiority to the Dutchman last season, he was very close to winning the world championship. He will therefore be keen to take the top prize in 2022.
Hamilton will be joined for the first time this season by George Russell. His fellow countryman did well last calendar year by surprising at Williams. It earned him a chance at Mercedes, where he will replace Valtteri Bottas. All eyes will be on Russell in 2022 and expectations are high. While Mercedes hopes he can compete with Hamilton, he must first prove it.
Return of a giant
After years of absence, Mercedes returned to the grid of Formula 1 in 2010. Daimler bought Brawn GP, which raced in the premier class for one season after Honda pulled the plug on the factory team. It marked the return of the German engine supplier as a factory team in Formula 1. Although Brawn GP was taken over on almost all fronts (including team principal Ross Brawn), the first years in the new Formula One era were extremely difficult for Mercedes.
No matter how hard they worked in the Brixworth factory (where Mercedes made the engine) and Brackley, the driver duo Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg failed to impress in 2010. Schumacher returned to Formula 1 to prove himself again, but the Mercedes factory team proved too much of a challenge. Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren (which also used Mercedes engines) finished ahead of the German team in the championship.
In 2012, the tide slowly began to turn and it was Rosberg who took the first win for Mercedes since the return of the German manufacturer. The Germans won the Chinese Grand Prix, but the results remained inconsistent. Even the struggling Lotus managed to finish ahead of Mercedes, but the first step in the right direction had been taken.
Dominance in the V6 hybrid era
Mercedes focused on the new engine regulations before the FIA implemented the rule changes. Team boss Norbert Haug left and Toto Wolff arrived. Together with racing legend Niki Lauda, the two managed to convince 2008 world champion Hamilton to leave McLaren and come aboard the Mercedes works team. It was a decision that turned out to be worth its weight in gold.
With Rosberg and Hamilton as a driver duo and Wolff at the helm, the German team finally managed to get ahead of Ferrari in the standings once again. The drivers' and constructors' title went to Red Bull (for the fourth time in a row), but Mercedes was back on the podium regularly. It was a line that the team continued to follow in the years after 2013, ushering in Mercedes' dominance.
From the very first moment that the technical hybrid V6 was in the back of the Silver Arrow, Hamilton and Rosberg recorded victory after victory. A dominant period with the v6 engines was born. In 2014 and 2015 Hamilton took his second and third titles and in 2016 it was Rosberg's turn to call himself world champion. The former Formula One driver didn't waste any time and submitted his resignation shortly after.
With Bottas as the second driver in the Mercedes team, it was Hamilton who also won the title in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. Competition within the team, unlike the situation with Rosberg, remained out. It caused Mercedes to look for a replacement for Bottas in 2021 and ended up with Russell.
After a sixth world title for Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes, Michael Schumacher's iconic record suddenly came very close. In Turkey, with four races to go, Hamilton equalled the seven-time world champion in winning the 2020 title. A year later, however, Hamilton failed to beat Verstappen, leaving his eighth world title still some way off. Perhaps next season will be the year for Hamilton.
Which engine will Mercedes use?
As one of the four engine suppliers in Formula 1, Mercedes use their own engine. It gives the formation a lot of grip on the performance, allowing it to slowly build a competitive car that can compete with the competition. In addition, Mercedes supplies several other teams including Williams, McLaren and Aston Martin.