Can Mercedes extend their newly found dominance in the 2016 season of Formula 1 or will the old warhorses find a way to stop the Silver Arrows? This is the question that would have troubled most racing fanatics ahead of this season.
After they broke Red Bull’s 4-year dominance in 2014 to land their first ever constructor’s championship, Mercedes have grown from strength to strength. With a superior car and 2 of the best drivers – Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton – on their rolls, they’ve left all the other teams in their wake. They won the 2015 championship by a clear margin of 275 points over Ferrari while in 2014 the margin was 296 over Red Bull Racing.
It has been a difficult journey for the traditional superpowers like Ferrari, McLaren and Williams who have enjoyed little success recently. They have world class drivers in their ranks but the cars just haven’t matched up to Mercedes. Will it change in 2016?
Important Rule Changes for 2016 Season
Keeping in mind the fact that some major changes have been planned for the 2017 F1 season, only some minor tweaks were made for the 2016 season. Radio restrictions imposed on the drivers meant that the highly skilled technical experts in a team cannot give advice to the drivers on how to get their machines to perform optimally during the course of a race. This tweak has been made in a bid to ensure the driver’s skill comes to the fore.
An important design change the teams have had to incorporate was the new exhaust layout which required them to have different exhaust pipes for the turbine and wastegate rather than the single one.This measure is expected to increase the engine sounds of the supercars, amid criticism that the cars don’t produce the hair-raising ‘vroooooom’ that gives a fan his adrenaline rush.
With the number of races increased to 21 from 19 last season, the teams were also given an extra power unit (4+1) to be used over the course of the season. Tyre allocations were also modified slightly with Pirelli supplying 13 sets of tyres for a race weekend this season for a driver.
Favourites for 2016
It is very hard to choose a favourite to win the constructors championship in 2016 other than Mercedes. Such has been their dominance over the last 2 years. The Silver Arrows are significantly quicker than their competitors.
According to reports, Ferrari are working on designing a superior car for 2017 and hence are thought to have not done much work on the 2016 car. With the ‘Prancing Horse’ not really in the race, Red Bull are Mercedes’ nearest challengers. Williams, Force India and the likes are expected to finish mid-table and are not really likely to spring surprises.
2016 Constructors Standings: (After 11 races)
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