Mid-season review: Mercedes

Of all 12 teams on the grid, Mercedes have been the biggest disappointment by far this year. Coming into the season as the reigning constructors' world champions with rising star Nico Rosberg and veteran Michael Schumacher in their ranks, much was expected from the former Brawn/Honda/BAR/Tyrrell operation, but they have failed to impress.

Right from the off it was clear the W01 would not be quick enough. Fifth and sixth places in Bahrain were followed by tenth and fifth in Australia. Only in exceptional conditions have they managed to get podium finishes, when Rosberg took third in Malaysia and China, the former's qualifying having been run in the wet and the latter's race having been rain-affected. Despite regularly qualifying inside the top ten, both Rosberg and Schumacher have failed to score points on a regular basis.
Since Turkey, even getting into Q3 has been a struggle, especially for Schumacher who has progressed to the top ten only once in the last five races. Although the pace of the W01 seemed competitive in Silverstone, when Rosberg took a distant third place, Schumacher was nowhere to be seen.

If Mercedes have been the most disappointing team of the year, then Schumacher is easily the most disappointing driver, having returned after a three-year break with no success. He has been struggling with the tyres and seems only a shadow of his former self, but remains motivated to succeed next year.
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