Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Can Mercedes make it five in a row in Barcelona?

(Mecedes AMG F1 Team)

There are just under three week's to go until the star of the European leg of the Formula One season and for most of the team's they will be pressing the reset button following difficult starts to the season. One team however, have got their car right.

Mercedes head to Barcelona having taken victory in the opening four Grand Prix of the season. Nico Rosberg took victory in the opening round of the season in Australia while Lewis Hamilton retired. However since that retirement, Lewis Hamilton has gone on a three race winning streak, while Nico Rosberg has finished the last three race's in second place which has helped Mercedes to take a commanding lead in the Constructors champion.

Lewis Hamilton made history in China as he broke Jim Clark's long standing record of pole position's by a British driver as the 2008 champion claimed his 34th pole position in his Mercedes. He went on to win the race by more then 18 seconds taking his third victory for the first time in his Formula One career.

His team mate Nico Rosberg believes that the Brackley based outfit's advantage will increase at the next race in Barcelona. Speaking ahead of the race the German said:

'Barcelona is a chance for us to extend the advantage that we have and that's the approach that we have going to Barcelona, 100%'

Rosberg is hopeful that he regain the form that saw him take the win in Melbourne as the team's head to Spain. He went on to say:

'To finish second in the end, on a weekend of damage limitation, is great. I collected some important points again, which makes me happy. It's great to go back to Europe with the lead in the Championship. In Barcelona, the aim will be to have a normal weekend and be back in first place.'

Rosberg goes to Spain with a four point advantage over his team mate so will be hoping to regain the upper hand on Hamilton as right now it looks as though the pair are the main challenges for this season's Driver's championship, while at the moment the Mercedes team are out on their own in the Constructors championship.

However Mercedes non executive chairman Niki Lauda has issued the Brackley based squad with a warning. Speaking following the teams third 1-2 finish in a row in China at the weekend, Lauda said:

'The Red Bulls are famous for coming back, and Adrian Newey is there'. 

At the moment the team have such an advantage that if they go to Barcelona and suffer problems they can afford to drop point's but of course is something that the team will be desperate to avoid as their aim is to carry the moment that they have had from the start of the season into the European leg of the season but the fact that the sport is back in Europe means that teams have easier access to their factory's and get update's to the circuit far easier and indeed far quicker if regraded.

Red Bull are of course not the only team that Mercedes need to look out for as it is so close behind them in the championship, Ferrari, McLaren, Force India and Williams will all be ready to pounce should Mercedes slip up. The Lotus F1 Team should also be put into that mix as they are looking to recovery their difficult start to the season starting with the next race in Barcelona.

©Ben Johnston 2014

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