F1 2021: Back down to reality for the Silver Arrows


January 12, 2022

by Will Knight 

Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team lost out on a championship for the first time in the turbo-hybrid era, after Sir Lewis Hamilton was defeated by Max Verstappen. 

Since 2014, the Silver Arrows have gone undefeated in one of the most dominant periods in Formula 1 history. For seven years in a row, Mercedes has won each title- equalling multiple records on their way. 

However, this has now come to an end, with the team forced back down to reality through the sudden emergence of Verstappen and Red Bull Racing who snatched their first title since Sebastian Vettel in 2013. 

Lewis Hamilton:

In a controversial manner, Hamilton was overtaken by his Dutch challenger on the final lap of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix yet remained honourable in defeat as his rivals celebrated their success. 

With rumours, and it must be specified that these are merely rumours, that he is yet to decide whether or not he will return to F1, the season could be remembered as his last. 

If this is true, the seven-time world champion must remember that his Mercedes team was able to take the fight to Red Bull in an undeveloped car and remain in a good position for the coming season. 

As the past has shown us when Hamilton is angry he can push the limits of his car. If he does return this season, I believe that he stands a good chance at winning an eighth world title. 

Valtteri Bottas: 

In the complete opposite of Hamilton, Bottas' season is much harder to judge. Although he was able to finish ahead of Sergio Perez in the standings and clinch yet another Constructors title for Mercedes, his season is not as simple as that. 

He began the year in an odd fashion; facing slow pace as well as a collision with Williams' George Russell; an incident that saw both exit the race. 

But there have also been performances such as his final race win for Mercedes in Turkey, a race in which he went unchallenged throughout and scored a second win in Istanbul for his team. 

From his overall performance, Bottas' move to Alfa Romeo for 2022 may be the best thing for the Finn after multiple seasons of living in his teammate's shadow. 

With a rookie joining him at the Swiss-based outfit in the form of Guanyu Zhou, he has the opportunity to build the team around himself and assert dominance in a team looking to get itself back to the midfield. 

Conclusion: 

With development seemingly halted early in the season on the W12, a pair of Russell and Hamilton may be unstoppable in the right circumstances for the Silver Arrows. 

However, with the likes of Ferrari and McLaren appearing to be the favourites to make a sudden jump from the midfield to championship glory, they will not go unrivalled this year. 

Image credit: Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team

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