2017 review: Mercedes' difficult diva ends up on top

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F1i concludes a look back over the whole of the 2017 Formula 1 world championship team-by-team and driver-by-driver with a look at Mercedes' title-winning season.


Mercedes was undoubtedly the strongest team of 2017 and fully deserved its fourth constructors championship. But it proved to be far from the smooth ride to glory that the Silver Arrows might have been expecting.

Losing the season opener in Australia would certainly have sounded alarm bells at Brackley. For sure, the team immediately fought back and won next time out, but the battle continued to go back and forth. The new W08 car was dubbed a 'diva', showing wildly fluctuating form from race-to-race. The biggest setback for the team came at Monaco: not only did Ferrari take a one-two, but Lewis Hamilton struggled to seventh.

Just six races into the season, Mercedes were behind in both driver and team championships. Hamilton remained on the backfoot all the way to the summer break. However Mercedes had by this point convincingly taken charge in the constructors standings, boosted by Valtteri Bottas' first Grand Prix wins.

When battle resumed at the end of August, Hamilton finally found a whole new level. He won five of the next six races to clinch the titles. It's perhaps understandable that the team's heightened performance rather burnt out after that. However, the team's 12th victory of the season courtesy of Bottas at Abu Dhabi seemed designed to send out a message to Mercedes' rivals going into the off-season: "Come and have a go in 2018 if you think you're fast enough."

Read more: Lewis Hamilton