They’re one of the biggest and most respected names in motoring, but while Mercedes enjoy a great reputation for producing great cars for the road, does their track record in Formula One match it?
Throughout the decades, the German firm have become known for making reliable and luxurious vehicles which are, more often than not, pretty good to drive.
Top of the class
Some of Mercedes’ most famous models - including the CLS - have helped to put Mercedes among the biggest names in the motoring industry; especially at the higher end of the market. Their main competitors include BMW and Audi, although in some respects they’re streets ahead. However, competition in F1 is considerably more intense.
Three teams currently use engines made by Mercedes: McLaren Mercedes, Mercedes and Force India. The three teams are all in the chasing pack, currently trying to make up ground on the top two teams in Ferrari and Red Bull, who both look like duelling for the 2013 Constructors’ Championship leaving their rivals trailing in their wake.
The difference between road and track
As you might expect, there is a massive difference between cars made for the road and cars made for the track. While Mercedes’ road-legal models are made for multiple purposes, their trio of F1 cars are all made to go fast above everything else.
All three models for Mercedes, McLaren and Force India are designed painstakingly to make them as aerodynamic as possible. They factor in down-force by using rear and side wings to keep the cars firmly on the ground, while they’re also made to ensure that the driver, if unfortunate enough to be involved in a crash, should be protected from serious injury.
Out from the pack?
This season, the best of the trio using Mercedes cars are Mercedes, who are spearheaded this season by new recruit Lewis Hamilton, who left McLaren. He’s currently the fourth favourite to win the upcoming Chinese Grand Prix (source: Ladbrokes Sports), while team-mate Nico Rosberg is just behind him.
By contrast, the McLaren team have underperformed, with Hamilton’s replacement Sergio Perez and Jenson Button both only winning two points from the first two races. However, their odds aren’t much longer than the Mercedes pair.