Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have dominated Formula One for most of the last seven years. In that time Hamilton and his teammate Valtteri Bottas,have won more races than all of their rivals combined.
Is Hamilton killing Formula 1 ? -No matter how you feel about Hamilton or whether you are a Mercedes fan, it cannot be denied that their performance has been one of the most impressive in F1 history.
And yet as Hamilton won the final four races of the 2020 season,complaints about F1 being too boring and predictable reached a crescendo as TV viewing figures plummeted.
The Spanish Grand Prix looked set to be a genuine fight between Mercedes and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, but it turned into another Lewis Hamilton victory routine.
Above them Lewis Hamilton stood victorious on the top step, fresh from a crushing a 24-second victory over Max Verstappen in the intense heat of the Spanish summer. 16 laps into the race it was clear Verstappen’s pace was no match to Hamilton’s pace.
No he’s not killing F1, the fact is that Mercedes put the time and resources into the development of their cars to maximize their results in the Turbo Hybrid era. Their designs and engineering guaranteed an advantage going into the 2014 season.
What you should be talking about is how none of the other engine builders or constructors have done anything to mount a serious challenge to Mercedes. Although it could be argued that 2018-2019 should’ve had serious chances for Ferrari that they inevitably squandered.
Or why not talk about why Red Bull has resigned itself to only winning at the technically demanding high-downforce circuits. Hamilton is doing what he does in the best machine possible. It’s not his fault that the other teams can’t muster the combination of driver and car to challenge him.
I think Lewis’ current dominance is no difference to that of Schumacher and Vettel. Different eras have different outcomes and the hybrid era was more suited to Hamilton and Mercedes. Hopefully the 2022 changes will shake things up.
If you want to talk about boring, you do not have to look too far. When Michael Schumacher won five straight Drivers’ Championships for Ferrari from 2000 to 2004, only one of them (2003) was chosen in the final race of the season. In 2002 the most dominant season in F1 history, Schumacher clinched the title with six races remaining in a 17-race season.
Williams‘ five Constructors’ Championships in six years from 1992-1997 could also be considered a dynasty. However the four Drivers’ titles the team won in those years, were won by four different drivers and were broken up by Schumacher’s first two championships. This variety makes the Williams years seem different from other the F1 dynasties.
Vettel won the 2010 and 2013 championships. One slight mistake or mechanical failure in those two years and we could be talking about Fernando Alonso’s four titles,and whether Vettel would ever be able to catch him.
But this article is not a revisionist history, that point was just for a bit of perspective. No matter how predictable the second half of 2013 became, there had still been some very exciting finishes in the last few seasons. Looking back at the other dynasties in sports history,which was not always the case.
Going back a bit further Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost and McLaren owned the late 1980s and early 1990s. From 1985-1993, they won seven of nine Drivers’ Championships. (Prost’s 1993 title was won by Williams.)
There is one further dynasty to consider. In 1951 and from 1954-1957 Juan Manuel Fangio won five world championships. He drove four different teams in those seasons Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Mercedes and Ferrari.
With much shorter seasons and fewer races to build up a big lead in the championship. Fangio clinched three of his five championships before the last race of the season.
Coming in the first decade of the championship, one might have thought that fans would lose their interest with such a display. They did not, and in the seven years after Fangio’s last title, six different drivers won the championship.
So to the people saying that Mercedes is killing F1, just be patient. F1 has survived even more dominant periods in the past.
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THE NEXT RACE 2021
|Bahrain ||26 Mar|
|14:30 - 15:30||Free practice 1|
|18:00 - 19:00||Free practice 2|
|15:00 - 16:00||Free practice 3|
|18:00 - 19:00||Qualifying|
|18:00 - 20:00||Race|
|Bahrain||57 laps||308.238 km|