Mercedes started the 2013 Formula 1 season in apparent turmoil. It had failed to live up to expectations in any of its first three seasons back as a works team, its long-time motorsport chief Norbert Haug was out and rumours swirled that team boss Ross Brawn soon would be too.
And all that was happening just as the spotlight on Mercedes grew every larger following Lewis Hamilton's decision to quit McLaren for F1's other silver squad.
Painful levels of tyre degradation and a testing scandal heaped more pressure on Mercedes, and yet at the halfway point of F1 2013, it is Red Bull's closest rival and has won two of the last three grands prix.
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