F1 2016 Team Preview: Mercedes AMG Petronas

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Following another record-breaking season in 2015 that culminated in both championships being won with races in hand, Mercedes enters the new campaign with a lot to live up to.

Drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg look poised to battle for the drivers’ title once again, but Mercedes faces a big challenge to keep its own intra-team rivalry in check will maintaining an edge over the chasing pack.

In the first of our team previews ahead of the start of the 2016 Formula 1 season in Australia this weekend, we look at the task awaiting Mercedes and its drivers. Will it make history or become history this year?

TEAM: Mercedes AMG Petronas
ENGINE: Mercedes
CAR: Mercedes W07 Hybrid

2015 STATS

Races: 19
Wins: 16
Podiums: 32
Pole Positions: 18
Fastest Laps: 12
Points: 703
Laps Led: 936
Drivers’ Championship Positions: 1st (Lewis Hamilton); 2nd (Nico Rosberg)
Constructors’ Championship Position: 1st

2016 LINE-UP

44. Lewis Hamilton (GBR)
6. Nico Rosberg (GER)

2015 TEAM RECAP

Following its rise to the front of the field in 2014, Mercedes delivered yet more crushing dominance throughout the 2015 season. Learning from the mistakes that slipped in at times the previous year, the German manufacturer picked up all but three victories and had just one weekend – Singapore – where it seemed to be truly outpaced. Tensions between Hamilton and Rosberg boiled up from the very beginning of the season, but it proved to be a one-sided year in the favor of the Briton who eased to a third straight title with three races to spare. Rosberg rallied to pick up a hat-trick of wins, but it meant little in the grand scheme of things.

2016 OUTLOOK

Given the nature of its success over the past two years, anything but another peerless year would come as a surprise to the F1 paddock. The new W07 Hybrid looked ominous in testing, boasting near-bulletproof reliability and given Mercedes such confidence that it did not even take the soft tire compounds to Barcelona. Neither Hamilton nor Rosberg unleashed the one-lap pace of the car, but again, the signs point towards more of the same from 2015.

In terms of bettering the 16 wins and 703 points from 2015, much of this depends on the threat that Ferrari poses. Both Hamilton and Rosberg insist that the Italian marque does represent a serious challenge this season, yet in reality, it is hard to see the drivers having anyone except each other to battle with for the championship.

With Rosberg’s contract up at the end of the year and tension still evident between the two drivers, and with the technical regulation changes set to shake up the pack once again next year, 2016 is a hugely important year for Mercedes. It has the chance to truly embed itself in F1 history as one of the all-time great teams. Few would bet against it exactly doing that.

Santino Ferrucci will drive No. 14 for AJ Foyt Racing full time in 2023 IndyCar season

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
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Santino Ferrucci will return to full-time racing in the NTT IndyCar Series next season, joining AJ Foyt Racing.

Ferrucci had made eight IndyCar starts with three teams since his last full-time season in 2020 while also racing part time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year.

He will drive the storied No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet for four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt’s team, which will field the car from its Waller, Texas headquarters.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be back in the INDYCAR Series full time,” Ferrucci said in a team release. “Being a part-time driver over the last two years has been hard for me, personally. I’m a race car driver, and I want to compete. Working with different teams has been exciting, and I’m proud that no matter which car I’ve raced, I’ve always shown speed and consistency. I couldn’t be more excited to join AJ Foyt Racing in the 14 Chevy. I can’t wait to make the best of it.”

Ferrucci, 24, had finished a career-best fourth in IndyCar four times, including the 104th Indy 500 in 2020. He was the 2019 Indy 500 rookie of the year with a sixth.

In nine Xfinity starts since 2021, Ferrucci has a career-best finish of 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I am thrilled to welcome Santino to the team,” Larry Foyt said in a release. “He’s shown a knack for getting toward the front of the field, and I think he is a racer who moves forward on race day. A.J. sees the fire in him and has enjoyed their meetings together. I think Santino’s experience will help his rookie teammate as well, so he is a great addition to our roster.”

Ferrucci will be teamed at AJ Foyt Racing with Benjamin Pedersen, who finished fifth in the 2022 Indy Lights standings. The team has yet to specify the number for Pedersen’s entry, which will be fielded out of its Indianapolis race shop.

Foyt’s two full-time drivers last season were Dalton Kellett and Kyle Kirkwood, who is moving to Andretti Autosport.