Make no mistake, Mercedes heads into the 2021 Formula 1 season - whenever and wherever that will get underway given the pandemic's ongoing uncertainty - as the overwhelming favourite.
By winning the last seven world title doubles, the team has already shown it can cope with major and minor regulation changes during that run, but there are pitfalls it must nevertheless avoid in 2021. These are in addition to taking onboard the lessons from the operational mistakes it made last year, which cost Mercedes victories at Monza and in the Sakhir race.
Those two events - famously won by Pierre Gasly and Sergio Perez respectively - made up 50% of Mercedes' 2020 defeats - but were down to the relatively minor errors that resulted in Lewis Hamilton entering the closed pitlane during the Italian Grand Prix and the disastrous double stack pitstop that cost George Russell and Valtteri Bottas dearly in Bahrain. The other two, Max Verstappen's two wins for Red Bull, at Silverstone and in the Abu Dhabi season finale, can be considered the team's only 'on merit' losses (which obviously doesn't diminish the glory Gasly and Perez deserved, Twitter).