Mercedes may not have the fastest car in the Formula 1 field in 2022, but it has the most reliable to date. The Silver Arrows are the only team that hasn’t suffered a single retirement this season and have finished every race with both cars.
It’s also the reason Mercedes aren’t quite that far away in the World Championship, as Ferrari and Red Bull struggled with technical issues early in the season: Max Verstappen retired in Bahrain and Australia, Sergio Perez in Bahrain and Canada. In Baku, both Ferraris retired prematurely, and Charles Leclerc was also in the lead in Spain.
Mercedes Motorsport Director Toto Wolff is satisfied with the reliability at Mercedes, but does not believe that his team has built an invulnerable car: “It’s funny that the cars of both teams keep stopping,” he says. “But you can’t get complacent because it can go the other way very quickly.”
“We are happy about our reliability,” says the Austrian, but also warns with a view to the past year, when problems with the engine crept in again and again – especially at Valtteri Bottas. “That’s why I don’t want to be happy too soon,” says Wolff.
Mercedes has been reliable in recent years
However, Mercedes has always had strong reliability in recent years, as can be seen from the example of Lewis Hamilton. Since his bitter engine failure in Malaysia in 2016 (six years ago!), the Briton has only retired once for technical reasons.
Ferrari, on the other hand, gambled away the once comfortable lead in the World Cup due to a lack of reliability. Before the Spanish Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc was still leading the World Championship before a broken turbocharger took the Monegas out of the race while in the lead – just like in Baku when Leclerc was also on his way to a possible victory.
That’s a potential 50 points (52 with fastest race laps) slipped through Leclerc’s fingers in three races. He is currently 49 points behind leader Max Verstappen, who has won five of the last six races.
George Russell in the much less competitive Mercedes is currently just 15 points behind Leclerc – thanks to strong reliability.