F1 has always been a sport of dominating eras. Be it the 2000’s Ferrari driven by the all conquering Michael Schumacher, or the aerodynamical domination of Adrian Newey’s Redbull, Formula 1 has always been a sport illustrated by domination. Yet, many have become disenchanted by Mercedes' sheer influence, however there is reason to believe it may not stop anytime soon.
The team based in Brackley, has taken 3 consecutive poles and wins from the opening three Grand Prixes of the year - with Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Botta, securing two wins and one win respectively. Consequentially, the team already holds a 66-point gap to nearest challenger Red Bull in the constructors' standings.
Although the team acknowledges the possibility of running alternate strategies at some events this year in order to promote competition between its drivers, team principal Toto Wolff claims that there's little the team can do to improve the racing spectacle, if rivals are not catching up.
"If we would take the 2020 season for granted, as a walk in the park, and it's basically just about picking up the trophy in Paris in December, we wouldn't have won these [past] championships," said the Austrian Team Principal.
"There is not one fibre in us that thinks that this championship is done. It's something that can really catch you out”, stated the Team Principal. Yet, there is little to believe that any team would step up to the tall task of defeating Mercedes.
Even the team’s own drivers are yearning for competition, as Lewis Hamilton exclaims the urge for closer racing regularly in interviews. “I hope the other teams step up, because I want to show people its not all about the car, it’s also my talent”.
Yet, Mercedes has become the target of the ire of F1 fans for making the sport “boring” and one sided. However, Ferrari’s technical drop off and Redbull not fulfilling its pre-season testing promise, F1 fans cant entirely place the blame on Mercedes.
Wolff says he wants the opposition to close the gap, and has welcomed the improved performances from Racing Point and McLaren. The Austrian team principal has also focussed on the importance of the new budget caps, welcoming the new change and also hoping for the budget cap to be effective.
The regulation changes, spurred by the tiring dominance of Mercedes, hopes to change the landscape of F1. Yet, with Mercedes going stronger and better each year, there are no signs of a change of guard.