I said it on our latest season review podcast and now, not surprisingly, Lewis Hamilton is saying it. The difference is, Lewis knows and I’m guessing.
“There is at least another year of this strength we have,” Hamilton said.
“Of course there is a slight unknown because the car can shift. It could dip.
“But we have a much, much stronger foundation in this team and that is not going to be the case.
“I’m so confident that is not going to be the case.”
Another year of Mercedes domination and our own Dave tried to show that this domination is not unlike other dominating periods in F1 here (although it certainly feels different to me).
In fact, team boss-turned quote machine, Sauber’s Monisha Kaltenborn, seems to think Mercedes domination is perfectly fine.
“For me actually, that’s [domination] never been any negative point in our series, because all of us have been in that situation,” she said.
“If you go back to the years of Michael Schumacher, how many years did [Ferrari] dominate?
“And look at all the things which were attached to it – tyres were developed for one team, for one driver basically, and you never had these kinds of discussions.”
Now the interesting part of Monisha’s commentary over at Motorsport is that she does slide in a warning about dominance and it could easily be construed as an implication of Mercedes when she said:
“Every team plays their role in F1,” she said. “To a team like ours, it doesn’t really affect us in that way if one team dominates.
“But it is important that you don’t use that dominance to push the sport in a direction which is maybe not good for the entire sport.
“You have to respect all teams, be it number one, number two or number 10, because everybody has their part to play and everybody contributes to the F1 show.”
To be fair, that kind of control via dominance has been ascribed to Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull in the past when those teams were dominating the sport.
It’s also an interesting admission that teams such as Sauber, Force India, Williams et. al. are businesses and their racing efforts generate cash and employ people and make owners some decent dosh in the process. They aren’t fighting for the title, their fighting for an occupation int he long term.
That’s not why Mercedes or Lewis are there and if they are correct, and I believe they are, you’ll be looking at another Merc domination in 2016. how many wins can Ferrari snipe this year? Four?
If everyone is wrong and Ferrari make serious gains and start winning regularly, will F1 fans be happier? I think Monisha sums up the current sentiment of younger F1 fans when she says:
“Why do we have so many issues? They say it’s because of the dominance of the team, but in fact it’s because the diversity is not there,” she said.
“It didn’t matter if, in the time of Schumacher, that he won the title in Magny-Cours [in 2002], and you still had so many races to come.
“It was the fact that more teams could be on podium, more teams could deliver that kind of result [that made it interesting].”
It’s the ability for more than one team to fight it out. Think Ferrari and McLaren in the late 90’s. Think Red Bull and Ferrari or Renault and Ferrari n 2005-06. The ability for inter-team battles, not just intra-team battles. That’s what fans would like. They want a few teams capable of winning races, but realistically not all teams, their not that daft.