Domination in Formula 1 happens. It happened with McLaren, Williams, Lotus, Ferrari, Red Bull and now with Mercedes. The difference is that perhaps today’s potential F1 viewer is getting tired of the predictable nature of the sport given the demand for the attention with so many other sports. It is what some have labeled as a ‘crisis’ in F1 at the moment. Why is it more of a crisis than it was when Red Bull or Ferrari dominated?
There were lots of disgruntled folks who were neither a Ferrari fan nor a Schumacher fan back in 2000-2004. They were vocal and they didn’t like the domination but the TV viewership numbers weren’t plummeting like they have recently. Perhaps we’re not looking at a cause and effect issue here as F1 moved to pay-TV and that had a big impact on numbers.
Regardless, F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone says the Mercedes domination is wrong:
“What we’ve got at the moment, which is wrong, is one very, very, very dominant team – with a particularly dominant engine.”
“It’s not nice to see somebody like Vettel two seconds off the pace, because he is not two seconds off the pace.”
The issue at hand is getting the regulations flexible and solid enough to allow teams to be competitive with each other. The specter of cost-caps and budgets has impacted the regualtions for fear of creating a sport that is too expensive but on the other hand, the lock-in regulations prevent teams from catching up to Mercedes quickly, rather over time as the regulations remain stable. It’s a tough call but clearly the boss of F1 isn’t happy…are you?
Hat Tip: James Allen
I’m not bored, I’m somewhat disillusioned by F1 at times, but that isn’t because Mercedes are dominating, it possibly is why more have switched off though. The qualifying domination can grind a little, though going for the Williams record, is quite nice, but the races seem lately at least to have enough happening behind them, when do dominate, and that is fine, and like with Ferrari (though the FIA did it) I wouldn’t want a rule change to make it harder for Merc to dominate. Built the best engine, paired it with some of the best drivers and have a… Read more »
There will always be a dominant team in modern F1. We got the present rules because everyone was fed up with Red Bull winning every season. I’m not pleased about MB-AMG’s domination but they do it right-get the best engineers, top drivers and pour a waterfall of money into development. Under the present rules and regulations, it is very difficult for any competitor to balance out with Mercedes. It’s either cut costs and have 11 teams or spend freely and see only 4 teams. The choice is yours, Bernie.
I am resting from Vettel domination
i’m tired of listening to the same story!!! blah blah blah….competition will only take place with freedom of design and a budget cap for all teams…end of story!!! anything else is complete nonsense!!!!!
Is domination in every area of motorsport, even if it’s budget capped or spec. cream rises to the top, whether that’s engineers, drivers or budgets.
Tom i agree that the cream rises to the top in every sport, So why is a super talented/engeneered team like Lotus on the brink of administration? and a midfield team now? Also if Red Bull would have a decent Power Unit they would be blowing the Mercs away! and i’m not a RB fan at all. in the 80’s there was no team domination!! only Maclaren in 88 then any other year at least 4 teams where wining races and fighting for the WC!
The problem is that Mercedes’ domination of the sport is almost forced though the strict limitations on testing and development. It was one thing when Williams were dominating in the early to mid 90’s. At that point every other team on the grid could out develop them through the seasons. Now the grid positions of the Australian grand prix will pretty much be the same as in abu dhabi.
Owing to the technological nature of the sport, there will always be periods of dominance. The point in order to bring back TV audience is not simply limited to the show. You have to think beyond the norms and see what else will look attractive. I tell you what that is: new camera angles (faster cameras that follow cars along straights giving a real-time effect. Also, with Virtual Reality gaining traction, F1 should be at the forefront of initiation VR live streaming). Personally I would pay $100 per year or more for such subscription when the TV view is more… Read more »
Somebody will always dominate for a couple of years. As long as it isn`t Red Bull or Vettel I will be happy with it.
I just wish it was Lotus, again.
As far as I am concerned,F1 is far too expensive, I can see the reasoning for the progress but at what cost, No screaming engines, Just deseal engines. No more refueling,Top teams making all the decisions.Thank god for teams like Lotus.Get rid of the electric crap, get back to the screaming petrol engines,And manual gear box’s, That should sort the men out from the boys.
Just imagine if Red Bull had the primo engine during their domination and not the worst engine on the grid. At least the fast circuits with lower downforce had them looking in their mirrors. In the previous refueling era you would get teams who would try varying strategies for the race and that would impact qualifying. A struggling Renault short fueling Alonso’s car in Spain comes to mind. We all knew it was light and he would be passed, but it added some excitement leading to the lights going out. How long could he last? It’s kind of demoralizing as… Read more »
Everyone has the same rules . Whats the problem?
Nah, need two more season to be square.. I can live with that.. lol
The only thing I am sick of is Red Bull and Ferrari whining. Oh yea and that little wanker Vettel he beats them all, he whined at Red Bull when Mark Webber won and he’s still at it now !!
You’d think Christian Horner would say, “Let me know when you’ve got three championships in a row and I might consider it a domination,” but Merc got under his skin barely halfway through last season. I bet Ferrari (6 in a row) and McLaren (5 in a row) absolutely believe they can find a way to win a championship again through sheer hard work and determination. Being in my 30’s, I find it a challenge to put in a good performance day to day, week to week, let all be year over year. I applaud that Mercedes can. Does it… Read more »
Ok, I read the post here and in other websites and I see people bringing the “Vettel domination” and that Christian Horner did not complained when RB was dominating. There was no 4 years of Vettel and RB domination, there were only two since. Vettel’s first championship he never lead in the point until he won the last race and won the championship coming from 3rd place. In 2012 was one of the best years regarding competition, there were different winner on the first 7 races and it came down to the last race of the season between Vettel and… Read more »
You may want to look at the regulations. For just three tokens you can modify the combustion chamber. This allows the following components to be changed: Top of the piston; Cylinder head; Valves; Inlet and exhaust ports; Camshaft profile. Similar changes are allowed in other areas. These power units are far from frozen, it is just the other manufacturers seem reluctant to spend the tokens to make the changes needed to catch Mercedes. I think much of the advantage Mercedes has is in the ERS rather than the internal combustion engine. Certainly that is the area Honda is struggling most… Read more »
I mentioned the token system, but still limits the amount of opportunities that you can use to develop the engine. I know this is not going to happen due to the “cost control”, but they should allow unrestricted engine development.
Tom is talking bull!!! with some of the best drivers??? no ways man… R & H are the worst two drivers ever..boring to watch..
Well that’s no different to ever then …
Nice work Tom, civility and decorum in the face of provocation ;-)
Ok, to play devil’s advocate. There was a really good comment on our Facebook page that I felt sums up what Mr. E is talking about. It said, and I am paraphrasing here, that what they were tired of is Mercedes supplying over half the field with engines. I think this is the crux of the situation. Mercedes is so comprehensively better and there is very little chance for others to catch up due to engine regulations and cost fears that the other teams are all just buying Merc engines. If it is the era of the engine again, it… Read more »
Mercedes aren’t supplying any more teams today than in the last year of the V8’s and only one extra team, than have since the divorce between Mclaren & Daimler allowed them to from 2009 onwards.I can’t see that quota of four teams maximum, changing next year either realistically.
Teams will swap but I don’t see it increasing.
The other question, is if Ferrari had shown more willing to sell customer power to teams during the heyday, and by that I mean badged Ferrari engines, not year old “Petronas” or whatever, would everybody of gone out and bought Ferrari power still?
At least Mercedes customers get the same hardware as the works team’s, something Ferrari doesn’t appear to offer. Perhaps that has something to do with why so many are queuing up to be customers?
The F1 strategy group have a lot to answer for in my opinion – they should be strung up and shot! Go back to 2012 and we had 7 different winners in a row, the difference in pace between the cars was extremely close, reliability of the cars was almost bullet proof and they sounded awesome!. Fast forward to 2014 and battery technology rules the roost, the cost of these stupid power units is crippling the smaller teams, they sound like shit and there’s a huge variation in pace and reliability. Why fix something that wasn’t broken in the first… Read more »
Under Max Mosley…
Yep, things worked perfectly when max was holding the whip….;-)
Bernie is just jealous, he never managed to win a championship when he owned Brabham, let alone achieve ‘F1 domination’ ;-)
Periods of domination by teams or technologies have always been a feature of F1. For me the major difference is that in the past was that F1 coverage was predominantly provided by journalists who are F1 fans and tended not to be hyper critical of the sport. Now we have social media where we can all vent our views, and be as hyper critical as we like – and alot of people do like to be critical ;-)
While Brabham didn’t manage to win the constructors championship under Ecclestone’s leadership, they did manage two drivers titles for Nelson Piquet. He did achieve some measure of success as a team owner, but gave it up to concentrate on the bigger prize of running the whole sport.
Like I said, couldn’t achieve domination as an owner, obviously still has s chip on his shoulder ;-)
Ya think Bernie? With that kind of reasoning ability, you should give up ruining F1 and become the world’s oldest brain surgeon.
Bernie has jumped the shark. (how’s that for a visual?)
Seriously, I think he’s lost the plot. He had a vision for what F1 should be, achieved it, and is now unwilling to admit that his vision was maybe a little flawed.
Slightly a different scenario, but headed into 2014, Bernie said the season would still be exciting if Vettel were to win every race because people would tune in to see if that would be the race he would lose (paraphrased).
Nothing Lasts Forever.
Hurry – Milk The Cow While You Can.
GO, 44 !
The domination that Red Bull had was different. Other than the second half of 2013 the championship seemed somewhat open, how many people thought that Alonso would win a couple of those seasons. With the Mercs it’s a 1-2 in qualifying and the a 1-2 in the race. It’s the silver arrows and then everyone else. With the regulations being what they are nothing CAN change that’s the problem. If would be nice to see other teams being able to make enough changes to close the gap but I think KNOWING that is not going to happen makes watching the… Read more »
Bernie’s domination of f1 is wrong!
Bernie should know what it takes to destroy F1. He’s been doing that for a quarter of a century, himself. Slowly. Progressively. Bit by bit.
Funny how short memories people seam to have imho, yes Ferrari, Red Bull dominated (relatively recently) but come on people, Red Bull never had the ability to just turn up the wick whenever in need and 2 of those years were actually really competitive with 7 different winners in first 7 races in 2012. The other 2 RB years were dominant but hardly not Mercedes dominant and the formula was not so extremely engine/PU dominated. Ferrari also had several competitive years out of Schumacher’s straight 5. Nobody will catch Mercedes as long the formula is engine/PU dominated in a turbo… Read more »