Last Updated: 31/03/15 3:06pm
After a record-breaking 11 one-two finishes in 2014, the question is can Mercedes repeat their dominance in 2015 and remain the class of the field.
The Silver Arrows were known to have their eyes on the radical rules shake-up introduced at the start of last season and they certainly lived up to the hype as the constructors’ title was wrapped up in Russia and Lewis Hamilton’s gamble of leaving McLaren resulted in a second world title.
In truth, it was a surprise to many that more immediate success didn't arrive on Mercedes' return to team ownership in 2010, particularly as they bought newly-crowned double World Champions Brawn GP.
The ingredients for glory seemed to be in place: a manufacturer giant writing the cheques, a multiple championship-winning team boss in Ross Brawn in charge and the return of F1's most successful driver Michael Schumacher behind the wheel after three years in retirement.
But what will now be known as 'the Schumacher years' from 2010 to 2012 proved an undoubted letdown. With the seven-times World Champion, now in his forties, clearly not the force of old, Mercedes failed to produce a car capable of challenging Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari race-in, race-out.
A first win for the German manufacturer as a team owner since the famous 'Silver Arrows' of 1955 did finally arrive - at the 41st attempt - at the 2012 Chinese GP, courtesy of Nico Rosberg. But that performance proved the glorious exception rather than the more mundane rule and having delayed a decision on his future, Schumacher was effectively bumped into permanent retirement as Mercedes pulled off the coup of luring 2008 world champion Hamilton from McLaren.
While their new star driver was expecting little more than a low-key bedding-in year given his new employers had just finished fifth in the Constructors' Championship, the W04's pace surprised in pre-season testing and Hamilton qualified third on the grid behind only the Red Bulls in Melbourne, before finishing a promising fifth in the race.
A stunning run of pole positions - eight out of nine from China to Belgium between Hamilton and Rosberg - underlined the car's single-lap prowess, but only three of those were converted into race wins (Monaco, Britain and Hungary) with the W04 at times experiencing chronic tyre degradation over the longer Sunday distances.
Still, only runaway Red Bull proved to be out of reach over the season and the runner-up finish to F1's standard-bearing team confirmed that concrete progress had finally been made.
The departure of the vastly experienced and respected Brawn after a season of speculation left what Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda himself admitted was a "big hole" for new joint bosses Paddy Lowe and Toto Wolff to fill. But the pair managed to control both drivers as they duelled for the title, even if Wolff did admit he become weary of making sure Hamilton and Rosberg felt equal. The radio dispute in Hungary and the coming together at Spa-Francorchamps were the only major public rows of a fight that could have undermined Mercedes' remarkable dominance.
11 one-two finishes and 16 race victories made the recent Red Bull years look competitive as the Silver Arrows set a new record for wins in a season and with reasonably stagnant rules for 2015 they will be difficult to catch.