Hamilton stunned by Mercedes reliability

2016 F1 season

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Lewis Hamilton said Mercedes had begun the season with ‘probably the best test we’ve ever had’ after the team overwhelmingly topped the mileage charts.

Mercedes’ new front wing. More pictures
Hamilton covered 1,592 kilometres at the wheel of Mercedes’ new W07 while team mate Nico Rosberg managed almost as many on 1,545km. The huge distance the W07 was able to cover consistently led Mercedes to run both drivers on each day for the second half of the test, and together they covered over 1,000km more than any other team.

“The reliability of the car this week has been just incredible,” said Hamilton. “It feels strong, it feels solid, it just keeps going and going… I’ve never seen anything like it.”

“It’s been a gruelling week for the whole team running between 150 and 190 laps every day,” he added. “But I’d say it’s probably been the best test we’ve ever had. Certainly the best I’ve ever seen.”

Mercedes introduced a revised nose and front wing on the car today which Hamilton described as a small improvement.

“The new front wing seems to be a step forward,” he said. “It’s small increments here and there – but that’s what we’re looking for.”

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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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34 comments on “Hamilton stunned by Mercedes reliability”

  1. Where are those people who like to praise WEC because it can run 24 hours? It seems so can F1 cars now.

    1. I hope you’re kidding and not serious.

      1. I’m sure they could with some changes to engine modes, and maybe different additives and lubricants.

        1. @mike-dee could be but I was pointing out to the irrational comparisons of the two completely different categories of motor racing. I hope he was kidding there.

    2. Pretty much shows what’s wrong with Formula 1..

      1. Cars not breaking down every thirty seconds is where F1 has been going wrong? And there I thought it was crap tyres, DRS, over-regulation, loss of free-to-air coverage, the unfair distribution of prize money, the Strategy Group, Bernie Ecclestone’s incessant moaning, extortionate track fees, extortionate ticket prices, single-team domination, soulless cookie-cutter Tilkedromes, and the almost total ignorance of social media from FOM.

  2. How crazy is it to think they have effectively run half an F1 season on 1 engine when they are allowed 5. A more crazy thing that was pointed out earlier today, if they have a repeat performance in the next test they will have run the whole F1 season in 8 days of running using 2 engines without a reliability issue, while still being as it would seem the fastest car on the track. I’m not really sure much more impressive the team can actually get.

    My guess is they will actually cut down on the millage in second test as they drive for performance, but nevertheless Mercedes are one seriously impressive outfit at the moment.

    1. @woodyd91 But as we are led to believe that times don’t mean anything, because it is “testing” conditions, does it also mean the same about reliability in “testing” ??

      1. @mulsanne Absolutely not, testing (particularly early testing) is about pushing the components to see what fails, when and why hence top speed is not critical. In testing mileage is everything, particularly in these days of hardly having any test days. If you are only able to run limited mileage then clearly you will not have as good an understanding of where the endurance issues are with your car (albeit that you will hopefully be able to find and fix the chronic issues affecting your immediate ability to run).

        Also, the more laps you do the more different configurations and design variations you can test out so that you know what works and what doesn’t which will help in deciding which development paths to take for the season.

      2. @mulsanne No, where as you can to a large degree hide your performance with fuel etc where it comes to reliability your car either works or it doesn’t. It’s really that simply, if you have reliability issues you either stop on track, go out on track with an unfavourable solution mounted to car just to run or just you dont get on the track at all.

    2. @woodyd91 @jerseyf1 – You make good points. But I don’t feel like that’s the entire story and that @mulsanne ‘s question is a good one. It is one thing to go this distance when driving around not on the limit. Yes, it fatigue tests some parts and gets longevity and wear rates, etc. But this is not peak stress testing or equivalent to race distances or race conditions because, presumably, the engine modes weren’t turned up and down, the systems weren’t stressed for high/low fuel flow rates or heat or peak performance.

      This is certainly useful information, as you suggest, but since it does not necessarily indicate whether the Mercedes will work at the limit and for extended periods of time at the limit, there is something to the idea reliability results under such testing conditions are not the full picture.

  3. IS that an F1 car or a German Panzer tank ? Bulletproof car + Bulletproof drivers = 2016 Title

    I’ve heard someone joke about how “I don’t have to play to win the championship”, the signs from these tests show Mercedes might also be in position to make such claims.

    2016 should be child’s play for sure.

    1. Built in Brackley so it’s not German ;)

      1. Yeah mate! But please don’t forget this: “Mercedes Benz is a giant of automotive industry, their products give me ride to work, propel flight and sail on journey to my island…” They patented the first car! Year 1886! Do we need to add anything? It’s a giant to big for F1 if you ask me.

        1. 1885 actually, and also totally irrelevant; the fact is the car is built in Brackley by (mostly) British people working for a British company that just happens to be owned by a German company.

          The only truly German part of the car? The three-pointed star.

          1. Quote: “…Cowell admits his team had little in the way of expertise at that stage and even borrowed some ideas from Mercedes’ truck department.” So much about Brixworth ‘independent’ engineering.
            In my opinion true indication of car makers know-how is LMP1 and you probably know who’s winning there.
            FYI on January 29, 1886, Carl Benz applied for a patent for his “Motorwagen”.

          2. Quote: “…Cowell admits his team had little in the way of expertise at that stage and even borrowed some ideas from Mercedes’ truck department.”

            Nice of you to provide a quote without bothering to tell anyone where it’s from or what it’s about.


            Is not Brackley, a word which has been written by others multiple times in posts you are responding to, yet you still can’t get it right.

            In my opinion true indication of car makers know-how is LMP1 and you probably know who’s winning there.

            Yep: Porsche. As in not Mercedes. Because Mercedes doesn’t compete in LMP1. Or in the WEC at all, in fact.

          3. @race-prouk

            Here’s the source since you can’t use Google apparently: http://espn.go.com/espn/print?id=14759128

          4. It’s not my job to find other people’s sources for them; if they weren’t so unbelievably lazy, they could provide them themselves.

            @Boomerang: Are you really implying that recognising you need help and asking for assistance is a bad thing?

  4. Mercedes will be collecting 904 points this year. And no, that’s not a typo.

    1. Impossible…. 903 can be achieved

    2. @moriaty

      And no, that’s not a typo.

      Can you explain then because it really looks like a typo to me. Is there a new bonus point somewhere?

      Regardless, if you are suggesting Mercedes can collect 903 points you are clearly deluded.

      1. Great work on insulting a stranger, and kudos on completely missing a sense of humour. Bernie would be proud of you.

        1. For him to be missing a sense of humour you would have had to make a joke!
          …And no, that’s not a typo *badum tish*

          Anyway I could totally see Merc getting 903 points this year. I’m not saying it is guaranteed, or even likely, but I think they are best place of anyone for a long time to be able to do it.

  5. How little Mercedes seem to care about chasing performance and lap times combined with awe inspiring reliability has got to have the other teams wondering disheartened.

    Looking at Force India in these tests I think gives a good idea how much the power unit has moved forward while Mercedes and Williams go about testing for long run reliability.

  6. Last year 8 Mercedes powered cars used a total of only 31 engines in the races (Rosberg used only 3 engines in races). The problem last year was that using the higher power modes (e.g. in qualifying) seriously reduced engine life. This test was probably about collecting baseline data, and the next will test other power modes. Also, any valuable aero tricks (Mad Max barge boards aside) will probably be introduced as late as possible to delay copying by the other teams.

    They say their focus has been on reliability because the points system favours finishing over winning. (If you are running 2nd & battling for 1st, taking a risk might get you 7 more points but it can just as easily lose you 18. The same is true of engineering risks.) If cars scored 1 point for every car behind them at the finish (i.e. excluding DNFs) that would encourage more risk-taking by drivers and engineers.

  7. who thinks Mercedes will win this year

    1. It’s not even “thinking”. We all KNOW Mercedes will be 1-2 this year.

  8. I’m seeing signs of contempt and overconfidence. Just wondering if that’s really the best attitude to be bringing to what was one of two test sessions.

    No pont having a reliable car unless it can also qualify really well and maintain “race pace”. Not 100% sure they’ve pushed themselves or the car quite hard enough.

    1. We’re talking about a team that almost locked out every front row for the past two seasons and won all but six races of the same in cars that, on current info, were less reliable than the W07; I think they’re allowed a little over-confidence.

    2. I’m seeing a reliable road car manufacturer showing they can also build a high performance championship winning race car with more reliability than the others too. The engine is also more reliable than the others too.

  9. I’m seeing signs of contempt and overconfidence.

    The only way you can see such a thing would be if you wanted to. Everything Mercedes has said repeatedly points to them not being over confident at all, just because their test program happened to be different to other peoples they are suddenly showing contempt and overconfidence to the sport? Please…

  10. Hamilton did 1592 but Nico only did 1545? Well, that’s it then. Nico has lost the desire to win.

  11. Bernie is silly! I mean, in order to prevent Merc from locking front rows and winning accordingly, he’s doing all those changes which is not fair as well. Merc did their homework and it happened that they did it better than the others, it’s their right to enjoy their hard work! I guess they will win again this year though.

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