The performance of Mercedes in F1 this year is impeccable. With Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg crossing the finish line in Russian’s Grand Prix to take their ninth one-two finish of the 2014 Formula One Season, Mercedes has clinched their F1 constructors’ champion first time in the history. However, with all the dominance in this season, Mercedes has to see their 20-year partnership with Mclaren goes to an end.
Matthew Walthert, a featured columnist, noted in his article Mercedes’ Advantage in 2014: A Simple Explanation of Revolutionary F1 Engine, that though Mclaren have the same Mercedes power units, it had them much later than the Mercedes design team and so was not able to find all the same aerodynamic advantages that the Silver Arrows have. And Mclaren boss Ron Dennis said it would have been impossible for Mclaren to compete for world championships if it had decided to stick with Mercedes power units. He pointed out the difference between the Mercedes works team and the other teams that by and large it’s always a second and that’s putting aside the pace they can generate in a grand prix when they are on the back foot. More importantly, Mercedes itself concedes that their own works team will have advantages over their customers because they will have fed into the design of the engine and guided it in a direction they feel is most suitable for their car.
And now, it is confirmed that Honda is returning to Formula One in 2015 as Mclaren’s engine supplier, renewing one of the most successful partnerships in motorsport’s elite class, which gives the mass a lot to expect, for the successful partnership from 1988 to 1992 saw Ayrton Senna winning his three titles, Alain Prost claiming one of his four, and the Mclaren team being crowned for four consecutive years. These achievements undoubtedly reveals the advanced techniques possessed by this Janpanese car manufacturer. Actually, the fact is that in 1965, only the second year of its participating in F1, it reached the coveted top step of podium with Ginther’s win in the RA272, so that its return really kindles the fans’ imagination and enthusiasm.
Some remarks from Mclaren boss Ron Dennis also reveals that Mclaren, being a customer to Mercedes, would never have the chance to touch the top step of podium. He said, “A modern grand prix engine at this moment in time is not just about sheer power; it’s about how you harvest the energy, store the energy and effectively if you don’t have control of that process—meaning access to source code—then you are not going to be able to stabilise your car in the entry to corners, for instance, and you lose lots of lap time. So even though you have the same brand of engine you do not have the ability to optimise the engine.” Also, he said, “We are well advanced in a programme that will see us build—it’s designed already—and run an MP4-29H, which is a compeletly dedicated systems devlopment car for the Honda engine. We will be able to do that any time after Abu Dhabi.” Nevertheless, to show his respect for Mercedes, the very champion of this season, he added, “We don’t know when it’s going to be, but out of respect for Mercedes it will be after that date.”