Mercedes stands on the verge of claiming the unprecedented feat of winning seven consecutive Formula 1 constructors’ world championship titles, which it can achieve today at Imola.

In order for Mercedes to eclipse the previous benchmark of six straight world titles set by Ferrari between 1999-2004, the German manufacturer simply needs to avoid being outscored by Red Bull by a margin of at least 34 points. 

Valtteri Bottas will start Sunday’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix from pole position, and he is joined on the front row by teammate Lewis Hamilton, with Red Bull lining up from third (Max Verstappen) and sixth (Alex Albon). 

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With Mercedes currently heading nearest rivals Red Bull by 209 points with five rounds remaining, it will seal the constructors’ crown should it end the weekend 176 points clear. 

To put Red Bull’s task of delaying Mercedes’ coronation into context, the last time the Milton Keynes squad outscored Mercedes by more than 33 points was at the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix when Hamilton and then teammate Nico Rosberg crashed out together on the first lap. 

Even if Red Bull were to claim a one-two finish and take the fastest lap bonus point for a maximum haul of 44 points in Italy, Mercedes would only need to finish fourth with one of its cars to settle the championship with four races to spare. 

Such an achievement would tie Mercedes with Lotus in fourth place on the all-time list of most constructors’ championship triumphs with seven wins. Ferrari remains the most successful team ever with 16 titles, seven more than Williams and eight clear of McLaren in third.

Mercedes has dominated the 2020 season so far by winning 10 of the opening 12 events and having claimed every single pole position on offer. It is yet to score fewer than 17 points at a Grand Prix this year. 

“You could say it is a 99% chance you’re winning it this weekend, but the truth is I only get to enjoy the moment if it’s done,” said Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff when asked about the prospect prior to the weekend. 

“I’m very proud of the team, being there at the top seven consecutive times.

“I remember when we debated in 2014 internally, what we could set as a target. Winning a championship would be fantastic.

“Aldo Costa said we’re not ambitious enough. We should write down that our aim is to win multiple championships.

“If somebody would have told us that it would be seven, I would have clearly thought he needs some support.

“Here we go, we have achieved it. It doesn’t feel the overwhelming way that it probably will in the future.”

Mercedes is also on course to create further F1 history by becoming the first team ever to win seven teams’ and drivers’ titles on the bounce. 

Hamilton heads into Sunday’s race holding a 77-point margin over Bottas, while he is 94 points clear of third-placed driver Verstappen.