Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2015

Mercedes expect better reliability from W06

2015 F1 season

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Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2015Mercedes believe their new F1 car will prove more reliable than their 2014 challenger.

Reliability was the only major weakness of the team’s dominant W05. Both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg suffered as a result of technical problems, notably at the season fianle where Rosberg’s championship hopes were ended by a problems with his Energy Recovery System.

“The team is in good shape after the winter programme,” said the team’s executive director for technical Paddy Lowe.

“So far the car looks to be a step forward in terms of speed and reliability compared to where we were this time last year, so we’re hoping for a good result in Melbourne. ”

Motorsport motorsport head Toto Wolff admitted the off-season had been “probably harder than anticipated”.

“Last year, when there was a big change in the regulations, everybody knew what a huge challenge it would be to do a good job.

“But while the regulations didn’t change a lot for this season, still the workload and the effort required over the winter was huge in terms of finding gains and improving the car overall.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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33 comments on “Mercedes expect better reliability from W06”

  1. Well, I strongly believe that they stand a pretty big chance of dominating for another season. The mid-field is packed closely together so at least we can expect racing on-par with that of 2014:)

    1. I honestly believe that they will perform even better than last year. I believe that their qualifying performances as a team will be the same as 2014, but I think there will probably be just one race or maybe two, where a non Mercedes driver gets incredibly lucky and takes a win.

      If I had to predict –
      18 out of 19 poles will go to Mercedes – At least 14 front row lockouts
      18 out of 19 wins will go to Mercedes – At least 13 one-twos

      My bet is Bottas could sneak in a win in fortunate circumstances

      I really hope that Nico ups his game and we get a a proper championship battle on our hand, or else, this could be a very 2011 esque season

  2. Cue loads of comments about not watching another season of domination by one team… Personally I say good on them, it’s up to the others to catch up, not them to be slowed down by any regulations or other changes. The racing across the board was great last year and I reckon it will be even better this year (even if the overall constructor if pretty much already decided)

    1. @ginja42

      Personally I say good on them, it’s up to the others to catch up, not them to be slowed down by any regulations or other changes

      But aren’t they dominant because of the change in regulations… If there was no regulation change, it Redbull would still be a might force.. Nothing to take away from the good job Merc have done with the new engines, let’s not bring regulations into the championship fight…

      Also teams who dominate remain quiet generally, be it Redbull or Mercedes..

      1. @Foosa – This is true, they took advantage of a change in regulations, as did Red Bull before them as did loads of others. I am actually saying, stop changing things so often and stop calling for changes as soon as one team dominates for a bit, let things play out as they are and see what happens in the long term. If things have to be changed (safety etc.) then fair enough, but not as a tool to try and level the field – Because it never works anyway (just creates a new leader)

        I think we are coming from a similar place on this?

        1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
          9th March 2015, 13:50

          Good comment. If they just kept the rule set for a few years you would imagine the leaders would start to get diminishing development returns, and the whole field would close up, as all teams reach the max performance possible from the formula.

          Just look at the start of 2012, the 4th year of the relatively static 2009 formula, when we had 7 winners in 7 races. Sure, RB deservedly had the best package, but they at least had to race for the win and had competative cars behind them.

          Knee-jerk formula changes meant to halt the domination of one team will only lead to the domination of another (whomever throws the most money at development), and we will be less likely to see a fully competitive grid, as smaller teams struggle to keep up with the development of the big boys.

          Less scope for development = less scope for domination

        2. It’s amazing that after one year of a new rule change with one team dominating there were calls for rule changes, Makes you wonder if Schumacher was driving for any other team but Ferrrari, if he would have been allowed to win 5 WDC in a row.

          1. @scepter They tried their hardest to stop him by changing regulations significantly including cars, tyres, qualifying rules and the points system. They nearly managed to stop him winning in 2003 and finally nailed it in 2005.

      2. Well, yes, but Red Bull was given the same copy of the regulations, at the same time as Mercedes. It’s not like the two teams are playing by two different sets of rules.

        I do think it’s funny after 4 years of absolutely hammering the competition, that Horner came out and said F1 shouldn’t be about one team dominating.

        1. I’d hardly call the 2010 and 2012 seasons a ‘hammering’ since they just barely won the driver’s championships and the constructors wasn’t that much of a romping. And, in my opinion, McLaren lost the 2012 season and handed it to Red Bull thanks to poor reliability. 2011 was quite strong, but the only Mercedes-esque thrashing was 2013.

          1. I’d hardly call the 2010 and 2012 seasons a ‘hammering’ since they just barely won the driver’s championships and the constructors wasn’t that much of a romping.

            Well they ‘barely’ won because the in 2010 their drivers were at each other’s thorats and ‘crash kid’ was still on the learning curve. That doesn’t mean their machinery wasn’t absolutely dominant.

            In 2012, they again had a strong advantage over their rivals, especially in the 2nd half of the season. As you mentioned, Mclaren handed the best car/team status to them by a constant string of issues, both mechanical and operational. But lets face it, they were miles ahead of their only serious challenger – Alonso in the red truck.

  3. I think reliability was never a problem for Mercedes, i don’t understand their obsession with this.

    1. Lewis was very unhappy with his DNF’s. That might be the reason they focus on it this year.

    2. They had 7 car-related problems last year, which might not seem like much, but thats 140 points they lost last year.

    3. They have the tools and the means to strive for absolute perfection. I don’t see why they wouldn’t.

    4. When your car excels in pretty much all areas compared to others, reliability and pure luck are the only things stopping you from 100% domination. Merc’s reliability wasn’t THAT bad, but in relation to all other areas of the car it stands out as a weakness.

    5. Well, it was the most notable part of the car costing them full points for the year @paeschli, so its pretty clear to me why they focus on this

      1. And not only that. Had Hamilton’s car broken down in the last race rather than Rosberg’s, and had Rosberg gone on to win the race and the championship, the impact on Mercedes’ image would have been huge.

        1. *as I believe* not ‘as I don’t believe’.

    6. @paeschli

      Well, as a whole they have pretty much every box ticked already, and reliability is the only way that keeps them from absolute perfection. Us fans may not like it, but as managers they’d have to be mad as hatters not to try and improve their only remaining area.

      At least you should be relieved that Mercedes decided to spend their immense R&D resources on reliability instead of even more speed. :)

      1. They definitely spent alot on speed. If they just kept last years car but made it more reliable they wouldnt be fighting for a championship win this year.

    7. * LH: cracked spark-plug insulator in Australia
      * Both cars ERS/brake overheating in Canada
      * NR: Failed gearbox Britain
      * LH: failed brake in Germany
      * LH: Fire (qualifying), fuel pump in race, NR: overheating brakes/ers for Rosberg in Hungary
      * LH: RS electronics Italy (although he won the race)
      * NR: Wiring harness Singapore
      * NR: Failed ERS Abu Dhabi

      Two of those failures (Hungary and Canada) let Red Bull win the race. The loose nut in Belgium that led to Red Bull winning there wasn’t really a chassis reliability problem. ;)

      Mostly, it’s an image thing for Mercedes– their car on fire isn’t really the sort of front page picture they want.

      1. I don’t know i that counts as a reliability issue, but also- NR: no telemetry in China

  4. This may be a little off topic but can someone help to clarify the engine rules? It is rumoured that Ferrari will take a milder version of their V6 hybrid to Australia for “reliability” reasons. In fact, the rumours state that Ferrari will use a “customer” spec engine (as opposed to the “works” engine they used in Barca) identical to that tested by Sauber. In my understanding of the engine regs, all engines must be identical and there shouldn’t be more than one spec of engine regardless who is running it (including the “works” team). Extrapolating that, if the supplier modifies an engine for reliability or safety, or under the token rules, then that modification has to be present on all active PU’s in the season…

    So, what gives?

    1. Ah! I may have answered my own question there in that quite clearly in Australia, they will all be the same. Perhaps my confusion is what is allowed in testing.

    2. They may be using a less aggressive engine map in Australia– running the engine at 9/10th’s instead of flat out.

      If they run it conservatively via software, then they can dial it back up later without having to break the seals, and violate their engine allotment.

  5. Thsi thing may be to the W05 what the RB7 was to the RB6

    1. +1

      So to speak

  6. If I were Merc I’d let someone else win Oz, seriously. If they’re reliable as well as 1s faster, the pressure to knock them off their perch will become irresistible.

  7. There won’t be any chance for the other teams…

    1. yes they should all just not bother and then we will have no races to watch……..??????

  8. These regulations weren’t a knee jerk to domination. The engine change was conceived and planned for a long time and with good reason. The V8 era just wasn’t interesting anymore on the engine front. Modern turbo hybrids are far more relevant to modern motoring and have a much better chance of having an impact on the results.

    The development freezes are the poorly conceived part if the rule as it doesn’t allow teams to catch up. I don’t know of a simple solution though.

    As for aero it’s a simple fact of the sport it needs crippling periodically. I suspect they are already closing in on 2009 levels of downforce, it won’t be long until they are at a level that it needs reviewing again.

    And Mercedes deserve credit on the chassis front. In 2013 they had already looked good to surpass the Red Bull qualifying pace, they just couldn’t make the tyres last in race trim. I’m confident even with the same rules from that generation they would still be fighting for championships now.

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