Mercedes first entered Formula 1 in 1954, but withdrew from all motor sport following the 1955 Le Mans disaster in which 83 spectators were killed. They came back into F1 in 1994 as an engine supplier, enjoying a lot of success with McLaren before eventually taking over the Brawn team in 2010 with the aim of becoming a dominant force under their own banner. Their intent was immediately on display when they tempted Michael Schumacher out of retirement to drive for them, and again when they signed Lewis Hamilton away from McLaren when Schumacher called time on his second career.
Hamilton’s move was considered by many to be an extreme risk, but four Drivers’ World Championships later and the Hamilton-Mercedes partnership has proven to be one of the most successful ones in Formula 1 history. Mercedes have ruled the Formula 1 landscape since 2014, winning 74 of 100 races in that time, winning five Constructors’ titles, the first in the company’s history. Can you keep them at the top in F1 2018 career mode?
Expectations are sky high at Mercedes as you would suspect. They want you to lead the field, which means consistent front row positions in qualifying and at least podium finishes at every race. You do have the best performing vehicle, tied with Ferrari, in the paddock, but that doesn’t mean that you will have an easy time if you set the difficulty properly.
Mercedes also expect you to show sportsmanship. That means praising your teammate, team, and rival during interviews and not sounding too smug with whatever race wins you achieve. This doesn’t sound too much like the Lewis Hamilton fans know, but it is what they want here.
Mercedes may have a package that is equal with Ferrari in overall pace but they get there in very different ways. The Mercedes power unit is the best in the field, and since you race for the factory team you have even more power than the customer teams. However the chassis and aerodynamics departments lag behind both Ferrari and Red Bull.
This is where you should invest the 2,000 resource points you start with. The 2,000 points will allow you to purchase an efficiency booster, quality control upgrade, and the first minor upgrade in one department before you even take to the track. Both the chassis and aero department have a major upgrade as their second available part too, so going with either one gives you the ability to get a major upgrade on the car before you head back to Europe. This will bring the car up to speed with Ferrari and Red Bull from a driveability standpoint. It’s not that the Mercedes is an unpredictable monster around the track, but you’ll feel the car slide and slither around a little more than the others do.
You shouldn’t leave the powertrain department alone though, be sure to add an upgrade from time to time so you can maintain your advantage over the rest of the field. The trick is, of course, to get to the ultimate upgrades as quickly as possible so that you can really make performance gains.
As you can see from the fully uncovered R&D tree, both the chassis and aero department have a pretty quick route to an ultimate upgrade. For the chassis that is an ultimate weight reduction upgrade that will make the car easier to accelerate, slow, and turn. In the aero department it is a ultimate drag upgrade which provides a huge boost to top speed. Reaching any of the ultimate powertrain upgrades is quite the task, but if you are with Mercedes for the long haul you can get there eventually.
Given the number of power circuits on the F1 calendar and the advantage you will have over the field straight away you should be winning the championship in season 1 of career mode. Maintaining that success will be the challenge here.
If you want to wait some time to jump into a Mercedes in career mode and have more of an up hill battle with them I recommend waiting until season 3 or 4 before you take up a seat with Mercedes. This will have them back in the pack and likely without a championship for a season or 2, leaving them in search of a hero.
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