How Mercedes became embroiled in its toughest F1 fight yet
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How Mercedes became embroiled in its toughest F1 fight yet

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After seven seasons of absolute dominance, Mercedes is now faced with a stark reality: through circumstances beyond its control it is struggling to maintain pre-eminence over one of its most ambitious rivals. Worst of all, it saw this scenario coming – but could do nothing about it, as GP Racing reveals.

Mercedes had an inkling as long ago as last winter that this year’s world championship might be tougher than any it had experienced since its domination of Formula 1 began in 2014.

As the engineers at the world champion team’s base in Brackley worked hard on developing the W12 car, the final one of an era before the introduction of swingeing rule changes for 2022, the numbers coming out of the computers did not make for happy reading. Not only had rule changes over the winter badly affected its car, but the gains it was finding as it looked for more performance were not as big as they were used to.

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