Visualising Mercedes' F1 dominance

Silver-wash: Visualising Mercedes’ F1 dominance

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Visualising Mercedes' F1 dominanceMercedes has taken a grip of Formula One in a way few teams have managed to since the world championship began 65 years ago.

Although Ferrari scored a rare triumph last Sunday, this was only the fifth time Mercedes has been defeated in the 29 races since the beginning of last season.

At the end of 2013 F1 made an instantaneous transition from Red Bull domination to Mercedes domination. The V8 engine era ended with nine consecutive wins for the former, and Mercedes ushered in the new V6 hybrid turbo era with six victories on the bounce.

When Red Bull were doing most of the winning from mid-2009 until the end of 2013, it was not always possible to say with certainty whether they were truly ‘dominating’ in the way previous F1 teams had, such as Williams in 1992-93 and McLaren in 1988-89. But Mercedes’ crushing performance leaves little room for debate, as these new data visualisations show:

Since the return of ‘proper’, low-fuel qualifying at the beginning of 2010, the contest for pole position has been a more reliable indicator of which team had the fastest car over a single lap. And while Mercedes’ monopoly of the top step of the podium over the past year and a half has been dominant, in qualifying they are almost unsurpassed, with Mercedes-powered Williams the only team to have kept them from pole position on a single occasion during that time.

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This doesn’t look like changing any time soon, either: in Hungary they were seven-tenths of a second quicker than anyone in qualifying compared to half a second last year.

Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2015But does Ferrari’s latest win give cause for optimism among those hoping to see a bit more variety at the front of the field this year? After all both Mercedes were beaten despite both cars locking out the front row, neither suffering any notable technical problems and without the interference of rain.

That all rests on the question of whether they continue to suffer the kind of poor starts we’ve seen in recent races. Lewis Hamilton has failed to convert pole position into the race lead in the past three grands prix. While only Nico Rosberg was able to benefit from Hamilton’s sluggish getaway on the short run to turn one in Austria, at Silverstone and Hungary both cars stuttered which allowed rival teams into the mix.

Mercedes have revealed they already have one eye on the rules change which comes into effect at the next round of the championship at Spa-Francorcamps in Belgium to curb the amount of coaching drivers can receive to optimise their starts. Hamilton and Rosberg have been using Friday practice sessions to prepare for the coming change.

Sunday’s race gave a reminder that when Ferrari are able to run in clear air they can be a serious threat to Mercedes. The team’s other win this year, in Malaysia, came after a Safety Car period allowed Sebastian Vettel to hit the front of the field early in the race.

Domination of the kind Mercedes has enjoyed since the beginning of last year can only happen when every aspect of a team’s game is strong: performance, reliability, tactics and drivers. Their iffy starts in the past few races will give their rivals some cause for optimism that Mercedes’ dominant days will not last indefinitely – just as none of their predecessors’ did.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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99 comments on “Silver-wash: Visualising Mercedes’ F1 dominance”

  1. Their reign can’t come to an end soon enough. Hamilton will ease to a third title and that is fine, he deserves it but another year of this is just overdoing it for the fans. One can only wonder how much more fans will step away with the current predictability.

    1. @xtwl Would you be happy with Hamilton winning a third title in a row if the racing and championship were tighter, and between more teams?

      (Not a dig at you, just curious)

      1. Personally, I’m happy for whoever wins but I want to feel like they fought their way there. At times, Hamilton has just coasted to victory. My favorite races this year have been the ones where the victor wasn’t safe until he crossed the finish line, for example the Rosberg-Vettel-Hamilton battle in Monaco or last weekend’s Vettel-Rosberg-Ricciardo encounter in Hungary.

        1. +1 billion!

        2. then pray Merc keep screwing up their drivers to keep the entertainment value going :) Do you want to watch people racing, or do you want to see people acting like they are racing. F1 is not far behind MotoGP in terms of integrity :) Money and lies, are at the heart of the entertainment business. Vettel ran away with it, he had no problems while his teammate suffered reliability issues, Lewis on the other hand will NEVER BE ALLOWED to run away with it :) Trust me on this. It’s the same reason his car broke down so much last time, his starts will suck and his teammate will be given a free pass to leave track limits or crash in to others with out penalty.

          1. You are getting confused, silver wash doesn’t mean tin foil.

          2. @oya: Everyone knows Bernie paid Mercedes to mess up their starts so things get ‘interesting’. They got it right at the British GP, where a b0rked start didn’t prevent a 1-2 finish, but managed to mess things up a little too much last time out. Now if you’ll excuse me, Tesco have a special on extra-strong foil and I need a few rolls to finish papering my room.

      2. @fluxsource Sure I would not even be bothered if Hamilton won the next five as long as someone else actually also made a proper chance at keeping him off the title. My comment has nothing to do with Hamilton. 2013 and 2011 for example were Vettel his run-overs but he had to fight to the wire in 2010 and 2012, that is never, and won’t be in the future the case for Hamilton. Last year was Rosberg could create the idea by finishing second all the time and picking up the occasional win when Hamilton wasn’t there. Last season has created the idea Rosberg could potentially keep Hamilton off the title yet this year the normal order is restored and Hamilton has eased to all his poles and wins. Again Rosberg could only win when Hamilton fell behind Vettel, or Monaco happens…

        Everyone can win if you ask me, I’m just worried if it’s always the same and it looked like a walk-over every single time.

        1. @xtwl I dunno. I think the second half of this year will be closer (but not close enough to truly challenge Mercedes/Hamilton). But my gut says that next year will be a proper fight.

    2. I don’t know why this is the conventional wisdom now. Hamilton didn’t win his second title until the last race of the year and he is less than one race-win ahead at the halfway point in the season now. If not for some undeserved good fortune last race, he would be second in the WDC now.

      1. Yeah but his car goes 0.8sec/lap faster. Everyone assumes he can beat Rosberg.
        He didn’t need an undeserved good fortune last race, because his car is that fast. He can drop out of points again and again and still finish with a good haul of points.

        1. Exactly. Forgive Dave, as he’s a huge LH fan and is blinded by the fact that he’s on a Sunday-drive to yet another WDC. 20 years from now when I look back at Hamiltons ‘stats’, I will fondly remember that this vast inequality was the only reason they’re in print.

          1. Almost half his race wins have been with a car 0.8 secs faster than the next competition.
            We criticized Vettel for years having only won with a car 0.2 or 0.4 secs faster than various competitors even though it was close enough that others could still outqualify. Now that sounds absurd.

        2. Yeah but Vettel in 2010 and 2012 also could have won easier if not for this and that and yet you people claimed that there was a contest while now there isn’t.
          Other that the few first races of 2012 Red bull was also quite a few tenths faster than the competition and Roberg that everyone assumes is not a challenge seems to be faster and a lot more consisted than Webber was.

          Rosberg is constantly there. Even if he can’t consistently beat Hamilton his still there right in his mirrors and as Hungary showed he can easily find himself on top on the championship if Hamilton makes a single mistake.
          Webber couldn’t even start a race without losing half a dozen positions.
          Even when he was on pole you still knew Vettel would be ahead after the first corner.

          1. @solo
            Red Bull only won 7/20 races, with 8/20 poles, so there were more than a few races where Red Bull weren’t fastest. RBR only had the second fastest car over the course of the season.
            http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2012/12/03/2012-f1-car-performance/

    3. Hamilton will ease to a third title and that is fine, he deserves it but another year of this is just overdoing it for the fans.

      I don’t know. Rosberg has come in for a lot of criticism this year, much of it deserved. But he starts the second half of the season just 21 points down to Hamilton. Rosberg still has a very real shot at taking the WDC this year. How is that possible? One reason is that Hamilton has not been driving brilliantly himself, certainly not on Sundays.

      1. His pole to win rate is not brilliant. Not bad, but not superb.

  2. To negate this problem means opening up engine development and allowing more testing, increasing costs. The latter isn’t a problem if the revenues also increase, but what’s the likelihood of that? If we assume that more competitive racing will bring back sponsors and fans then its an obvious investment, but team finances are simply too precarious to make that now, without help from the promoter and govorning body.

    1. and the lack of sponsors are largely due to the fact that it is now on Pay per view TV. What sponsor is going to pay the same money for less viewers???

      and even worse than that is the viewers now are largely die hards who have paid the cash to watch… the sponsors don’t want that as we don’t care what is on our fav car, we are more interested in ride heights and strategy. They want casuals viewers who dip in because it is on BBC on a sunday afternoon who go ‘ooh martini, i remember them’

      I am not sure why this is so hard for the F1 folk to grasp. The sponsor needs the biggest bang for its buck like any product you sell. The product(viewer coverage) sold to the sponsor now, doesn’t hold the value it did 3+ years ago.

  3. I love these new visual stats!

    As for Mercedes’ dominance, I have never seen it as a problem. In my opinion, there have been only two rather boring periods in F1 over the last six years. The first one was the 2011 season when Vettel had a 77-point lead over the closest follower after the first 10 races. Now Vettel and Rosberg trail Hamilton by only 42 and 21 points respectively. The second half of 2013 was dull, too – for obvious reasons. The 2014 and 2015 seasons have been moderately entertaining.

    Firstly, Rosberg has somehow always managed to stay close or even ahead of Hamilton. It does not matter if it is a fair reflection of the German’s performance. The point is that no one knew who would win the 2014 drivers’ world championship until the middle of the final race and today no one knows, who is going to win the 2015 world championship. What we see is a nice rivalry between two strong team mates, a classic.

    Secondly, the Mercedes’ defeats taste even better these days, they are always unexpected and these races are always rated highly by F1 Fanatic readers. In fact, F1 has mostly been like that – a few ordinary races followed by a thriller followed by more ordinary races.

    For sure, it would be even more exciting if we were in the middle of another 2010 or another first half of 2012 right now. So what should be done to stop Mercedes’ domination? Nothing. It will stop anyway – either Ferrari will catch them next year or someone else will do a better job when the new rules arrive in 2017. Or maybe Alonso will have another 2012 in 2018 and this time he won’t miss. Nothing lasts long in F1 (except for Bernie) so let us just sit back and wait…

    1. calling Rosberg vs Hamilton a ‘classic’ is over the top

    2. “The first one was the 2011 season when Vettel had a 77-point lead over the closest follower after the first 10 races.”
      Is that for real? Considering that car was a lot closer to its rivals, how is it that this year’s been so much closer?

      1. If one person wins everything, with a rotating group of competitors behind him to take the next steps on the podium, he(/she) can get a much bigger lead then when it is one guy, with only a small set of people – remember, most podiums consisted of HAM,ROS,VET this year; and HAM wasn’t on the top step all the time. The gap behind those three is larger though.

      2. I think there are many reasons for that. Firstly, Rosberg gives Hamilton a run for his money now and then, Webber could not do that in 2011. Secondly, even when Rosberg has a bad weekend and trails Hamilton by half a second in the qualifying, Mercedes’ pace advantage is so big that Nico still qualifies second and consequently does not lose many points. Thirdly, Vettel and Ferrari have constantly been the best of the rest (Williams have been able to challenge them only a couple of times) so they have silently racked up a lot of points, while in 2011 Red Bull’s rivals were fighting among themselves and taking points off each other.

    3. It depends on whether you’re judging a season as a single entity (which can only really be done after a season is over) or judging each race on its own merits. Yes, Vettel’s lead after ten races in 2011 was larger than Hamilton’s lead after ten races this year. That doesn’t mean that 2011 was a more boring year. In fact through the first ten races it was a more competitive and entertaining season than this one.

      After ten races in 2011, three non-RB drivers had won four of the ten GP’s. After ten races in 2015 only a single non-Merc driver has won, and at only two GP’s.

      The same is true of the other podium spots. This season the podium is usually the same three drivers – Hamilton, Rosberg, and Vettel, and no other driver has podiumed more than once. In 2011 it was far more varied and unpredictable.

  4. For obvious reasons, it’s a lot easier to fix the poor starts issue in the Mercedes side than to fix the power gap between the latter and the other teams.

    Truth is, Mercedes is enjoying a level of domination only comparable to the one McLaren enjoyed with the MP4/4, almost 30 years ago. Statistically, the W05 is the 2nd most dominat car in the history of F1. And this W06, is still in a good position to snatch it from last’ year’s Merc. The W06 surely had the potencial to reach the top spot of this table, if both Hamilton and Rosberg had at least half of the talent of Senna and Prost as racing drivers.

    Luckily for Mercedes, the ban on engine development isn’t likely to be lifted anytime soon so it’s going to be extremely difficult to the other teams to catch up and the German cars will continue to dominate the sport in the years to come.

    1. @elio There is no ban on engine development. It’s just limited. As Ferrari have shown, there’s still plenty to that can be done.

      1. Yet you cannot close up the gap since it is just limited.

        1. It’s not really limited. They can upgrade anything on grounds of reliability, cost or fuel economy. That means nobody is gonna argue if Honda or Renault come up with something that makes things more competitive.

          The only thing holding them back is the quality of their organisations. Which hopefully is improving.

          1. @lockup Whilst I completely agree, the issue with the Honda & Renault power units is they’ve taken on radically different concepts to what Mercedes and Ferrari have and as a result cannot radically change their concepts because of the mandated component freezing that is taking place each year.

            The FIA haven’t adequately indicated whether the ‘new manufacturer’ ruling also allows Honda to only have to have 8% (Crank case, Crankshaft & AV system) of its design frozen after 2015 or whether it gets raised to 23% like the other manufacturers.

          2. The thing is @optimaximal would FIA refuse to let them change a dead-end concept? Would even Mercedes? I don’t see it. The pressures are too huge. I reckon they have all the scope in the world to improve things.

            We saw a couple of months ago Mercedes were making big steps without spending tokens, and Ferrari too, so that finally Charlie said something. Meanwhile Renault were spending tokens to achieve less. It just looks like Merc and Ferrari are more alert and working better, as organisations.

            Honda seem to have developed their engine outside the chassis, after we all knew Merc did it inside a chassis. That kind of thing is what they need to change, then I really don’t think they’ll be hindered.

          3. @lockup the Honda PU is supposedly so physically small, it seems they developed it to fit inside a typical Japanese living room, not a F1 car!

        2. Yet you cannot close up the gap since it is just limited.

          That just simply isn’t true, Ask Ferrari if they have closed the gap to Mercedes.

          1. Ferrari only managed to close the (power) gap to Mercedes and allowed to develop and modify its engine during the 2015 season, due to a loophole in the regulations.

            Otherwise, everything had to remain frozen regarding engine development.

    2. @elio Since when was Brackley part of DEU?

      1. Is there any team called “Brackley F1 Team” or something like that in the sport, @davidnotcoulthard ?!

        Last time I checked, Mercedes was a German brand, operates in F1 under a German a license and the national anthem you hear every time a Mercedes car wins a race is the German one!

        The fact the team is based in Brackley, doesn’t make the marque, the team or the car a British one.

        1. @elio In all fairness the (tune of the) anthem is actually Austrian (and was Austria-Hungary’s anthem).

          On a more serious note, the former Jordan didn’t suddenly turn Dutch in 2007, and Force India is about as Indian as Spyker-Ferrari were Dutch.

          Jaguar-Land Rover are Indian owned. Won’t make me think their cars are Indian (despite being owned by Tata). Volvo isn’t Chinese either (despite being owned by Geely). The XC60 Classic may be a rather different story though.

          Let’s put it this way: If @keithcollantine buys KFC tomorrow, it won’t make KFC British. (this comment also goes as a reply to http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2015/07/30/silver-wash-visualising-mercedes-f1-dominance/comment-page-1/#comment-2974474 ). Ownership and nationality of the thing owned can be 2 different things – and in the case of F1 it really shows (with most cars being engineered and made and calculated setting during the races for in England).

      2. And the engine is designed in Germany.

        1. I thought all work was done by HPE…

          1. Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains or HPP is incorporated into Mercedes-AMG GmbH (Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung) and fully owned by Daimler-Benz AG of Germany.

        2. @paeschli Not according to http://www.theengineer.co.uk/winning-formula-inside-the-mercedes-pu106a-power-unit/1019849.article

          Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains or HPP is incorporated into Mercedes-AMG GmbH (Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung) and fully owned by Daimler-Benz AG of Germany.

          Doesn’t make the engine German.

          If KFC opens and succesfully runs a KFC Fish and Chips chain in the U.K. the KFC Fish and Chips chain wouldn’t be considered American, would it?

    3. Power gap is not the issue. If McLaren could not compete with a Mercedes PU what makes you think that cutting the team’s relative power by X percent is going to be a cure-all? Half the grid have the same basic drivetrain. Mercedes have the best “package”–the integration of a good chassis, electronics, PU, data acquisition and control systems. In today’s F1 where you are talking about a mere consistent .5s advantage being a “dominant” margin over a 100 second lap, you don’t just get to consistent success with one element.

      1. Merc’s advantage clearly lies in their more efficient engine. You can call it all kinds of names to try and hide the facts :) Williams and Merc have a clear advantage over the other teams, in terms of fuel efficiency, with efficiency you can introduce more drag/down force and produce a faster car. It is as simple as that. Merc will fake their their own issues to keep the rules from changing, because in this game, the REAL GAME. Unfortunately people are not interested in understanding reality, they want to be entertained by spectacles, and unfortunately, when lies become greater and greater, those measures taken to protect those lies become greater and greater … farces.

        1. The top four in the 2015 WCC standings:
          Mercedes
          Ferrari
          Williams
          RBR

          If Mercedes had a car only as good as the Williams, a pretty good race car, Ferrari would be leading the table by 85 points. Probably more, because they would be favored by the larger points gap in the first three spots and Williams and MB would be splitting the scraps into finer portions. I know it hurts for non MB partisans, but it’s not simply the engine. MB”s dominance is not about rigid rules, tokens, sun-spots, or anything else but making a great race car.

      2. It’s not 0.5, more like 0.8. For the last 1.5 seasons.

        1. @dmw,

          Do you really believe Williams and the other Mercedes powered teams have the exact same engine ? Not in terms of raw specs, but performance wise ?

          In this new “hybrid” era, the engine software plays a major role, so it’s quite obvious Mercedes is always one step ahead and always gets the latest and “premium version” of this software (created and developed it in-house).

          And this is where Mercedes have the clear engine advantage over their “customers” and most probably, the main reason why McLaren decided to go (and risk) with another engine manufacturer. Because they were pretty much aware they’d be in a clear disadvantage to the full works Mercedes team.

  5. Wow, hard to believe it’s been over 3 years since Ferrari last scored a pole position.

    1. What was the closest they’ve come since then?

      1. They’ve been 2nd a few times, and of course 3rd many times with Vettel apparently owning P3 this year.

        1. I meant in seconds?

          1. 2015 Malaysian Grand Prix: Vettel +0.074

          2. Ahh, that must have hurt like hell!

          3. @pal not 24 hours later though!

      2. Vettel was P2 in Malaysia this year, just a few hundredths behind Hamilton. Of course that was on a wet track.

        1. 0.074 secs! That was a wild lap from Vettel. Car was all over the place…

  6. hence the bordem.

  7. Nice visuals!

    So, the stats are like this since 2010…

    WINS:

    Ferrari = 13 (last win in 2015)
    Lotus = 2 (last win in 2013)
    McLaren = 18 (last win in 2012)
    Mercedes = 28 (last win in 2015)
    RBR = 44 (last win in 2014)
    Williams = 1 (last win in 2012)

    POLE POSITIONS:

    Ferrari = 4 (last PP in 2012)
    Lotus = 0
    McLaren = 10 (last PP in 2012)
    Mercedes = 37 (last PP in 2015)
    RBR = 52 (last PP in 2013)
    Williams = 3 (last PP in 2014)

    1. Wow… also eye opening. However, the ’10 and ’12 seasons were incredible, despite RBR winning many races/poles. Heck, even the first half of ’13 was excellent.

      I’d love to see Mclaren get back into the fight.

      1. I miss the times Vettel won races. Very weird.
        I even want him to win more often now. Even weirder.

        1. And you were probably one of he MANY that were saying “it’s all his car” “the guy can only win from the front” “he can’t pass” etc etc.
          I enjoy everyone eating a slice of it these days, but cant help but say the exact same thing of LH. I guess it’s cyclical.

          1. I learnt recently that, for both Hamilton and Vettel, up until last year, it was the 2nd row where they won from furthest back on the grid.
            They are excellent qualifiers though. Expected I guess. Maybe there is a slight misconception about Vettel there.

    2. Those Williams poles though;

      Interlagos 2010 with Hulkenberg in a wet/drying track.
      Catalunya 2012 with Maldonado when Hamilton got DSQ.
      Austria 2014 with Massa when Hamilton crashed and Rosberg failed.

    3. If you are going to take a 5-year view, which I believe is about right, given the long history of the sport and the typical life of a design formula, RBR’s numbers are fairly eye-popping. MB has had more “intense” success in the recent two years, but we know that domination can evaporate in a heartbeat in this sport and the formula for winning is very delicate. Thus, I’m not too stressed about Mercedes killing the sport or whatever. I give them one more year of dominance after this one. After that, even if the rules stay as they are, and even if other teams don’t make breakthroughs, key personnel (including drivers), may leave the team.

      Also, in comparing RBR, a couple other points: It’s worth noting how one driver carried the load for almost all of that time, in terms of wins and poles. MB now have two drivers who can win or score poles consistently. Also, when RBR was very strong, the other well-funded teams were fielding strong cars with good drivers—McLaren and Ferrari were not struggling with basic reliability and design issues and could take a number of wins and poles. The recent collapse and turmoil with these two teams is as key to MB’s striking dominance as anything.

      1. I’m not too stressed about Mercedes killing the sport or whatever. I give them one more year of dominance after this one.

        Another year (and a half, counting the rest of this year) of dominance at the present level and I personally won’t be following F1 anymore. And I think I’m far from alone in that.

        The rules were constantly fiddled with while RB was winning, in much less dominant fashion, in an effort to shake things up. I fail to see why doing the same thing now is out of the question.

        1. How many years did I wake up at 6am to see Schumacher crush the field, except when he let Barrichello win? How many races did he go without even a mechanical breakdown? I have no sympathy. Show some grit. This how sports go. A “three-peat” in a major sport is not like some kind of unprecedented crisis.

          1. A “three peat” is obviously not a problem, provided that it is achieved against something remotely resembling opposition. That’s not the case at present. And in spite of your issues with Schumacher he won most of his titles in seasons which were lot more competitive than 2014/15.

          2. @rm Vettel………

        2. @rm The issue is Red Bull were constantly running up against the rulebook with various innovations like flexible bodywork, tool-free ride-height adjustment & trick engine mappings.

          By comparison, Mercedes haven’t actually broken any rule of the (current) formula.

          1. Well if that’s the case, it makes it all the more hopeless.

          2. Red Bull were never found to have broken any rule. And for all we know Mercedes are currently breaking multiple rules. You’ll recall that in 2013 they broke the rules with Charlie Whitings approval. And they seem to break the rules against driver coaching at every GP.

          3. No point in acting like McLaren aero department was doing nothing similar at the time…

            Innovation is not breaking the rules anyway…

          4. @optimaximal Leading to disqualification?

            No, it didn’t. In fact, uit was copied, then outlawed.

        3. @rm I’m 100% with you.

        4. The rules have been fiddled with over the past year and a half in much the same way as far as I can tell. It’s just that Merc have not made much noise about it and simply carried on.

          1) FRIC ban. This was something that Merc pioneered the development of.
          2) Clarifications of fuel flow and the way it has been measured.
          3) Driver coaching.
          4) Engine freeze lifted so Ferrari and others could continue to catch up with engine dev over the season.

      2. If you tried a bit more, you could make it sound like Red Bull was more dominant than Mercedes or something.

      3. If you are going to take a 5-year view, which I believe is about right, given the long history of the sport and the typical life of a design formula, RBR’s numbers are fairly eye-popping.

        No, they’re actually fairly modest numbers by comparison with other eras of dominance.

        In the five years 1988-92 McLaren won four WDC,s. four WCC’s and were runner-up once. They also won 55% of the races and 72% of the poles.

        In the six years 1992-97 Williams won five WCC’s, four WDC’s and were runne-up the other years. They won 53% of the races and 72% of the poles.

        In the five years 2000-04 Ferrari won the WDC and WCC five times apiece. They won 66% of the races and 60% of the poles.

        In the five years 2009-13 Red Bull won four WDC’s and four WCC’s being runner-up the other year. They won 50% of the races and 60% of the poles.

  8. Bernie needs to step in and blackmail Mercedes. Either Fernando steps into Rosberg’s seat, or they will make another engine rule change that puts Mercedes back at level zero :P

    1. the only thing that needs doing dropping the engine formula, and introducing something like what WEC has (just a fuel input limit). As long as people are forced to a very narrow lane of opportunities, one team will realize a great advantage over the others, and from this advantage, guys like Toto Wolff will be able to realize larger political interest. The real race is Mercedes and their ability to hold on to the strategy group, their ability to maintain the status quo/order. That is the real spectacle, the real interesting bit of F1, the racing is a form of celebrating this fact, just like watching all the cars go around Monaco, with no hope of overtaking, celebrating authority :) ‘Rulers’.

  9. Evil Homer (@)
    30th July 2015, 15:49

    The Merc’s dominating for me has not been boring.
    What is boring is when a driver (usually Lewis) gets up front 2 seconds and nothing else happens, few pass behind and you try hard not to fall asleep!

    When the front, or other positions, race hard and do some great overtakes I don’t care if it is for 15th or 3rd! The last two years has had some really great racing !!!! BUT when we have only two looking to win the WDC its has to be close(r) Nico Rosberg is a fantastic F1 driver – we need him to find that just bit more and people wont just think its a walk in the park for Lewis- its not, just seems to be!!

    1. If the race is processional from start to finish (Spain-like) but Hamilton spins on the last lap and loses the race to Rosberg is it all-time classic for you?

      1. @michal2009b Considering how unprecedented an event like that is……yeah, why not?

        1. That would be fun!

          1. But don’t change the fact that overall the race will be boring with one big moment, so instead of 4 it would receive maybe 6 in the polls, never 9 or 10 because the race is not only about one lap or battle for the lead.

  10. Great use of interactive media to transmit information. Tufte can learn from this. It makes the chart/graph stunts by major outlets like NYT, Guardian look seriously old fashioned.

  11. Sounds like some people are easily entertained by Formula Mercedes nowadays. Good for you. Though I am bored to tears most of the time.
    I wish Rosberg realized by now how close to Hamilton he’s been over the last 2,5 years in terms of performance. Maybe then we could see something I can more easily call “racing”.
    I wouldn’t have thought I’d be saying this one day, but thank God for Vettel.

  12. diarmuid talbot (@)
    30th July 2015, 22:02

    Don’t know why people are hating on mercedes dominance.Theres always been teams dominating in this sport

    1. People got spoilt with the 2007-2013 period.

  13. I see many people complain about F1 becoming boring. I dont know what they are looking for, demolition derby? This is F1, this is how its been for most of its history; if you love it, you will find a way to not be bored, no matter whats going on.

    1. This is F1, this is how its been for most of its history.

      You’d be very hard pressed to find any era of F1 history which has featured domination by one team of the sort we are seeing now.

      1. @rm 1988-1991…..2000-2004…..1954-1955…..last few years of the European Championship…….1992-1993…… (And if you’re about to reply that 2 seasons don’t make an era……2014-2015 only makes 2 years, and thus not an era either).

        1. You’re not looking at the numbers, because 1988-91, 2000-04 etc simply did not feature domination of the sort we are seeing at present from Mercedes.
          In 1992-93 Williams won “only” 62% of the races. Of course that is domination, but it’s not remotely comparable to Mercedes winning a staggering 83% of the races.

  14. I think the key to Mercedes domination is how strong they are in qualifying even before 2014. In 2013 they got 8 pole positions in a year supposed to be RedBull complete domination.

    1. @malik Race pace was as impressive as GNOME 3.0 though.

      And then 2014 happened…

      1. And that is exactly the point! Mercedes had a very powerful engine in the V8 era, and a good chasis aerodynamicly. It just was eating its rear tyres big time. We were all complaining at the time that races were dominated by tyre conservation, which is normal as fans would like to see cars and drivers on the limit all the time. Then Red Bull jumped on that wagon to get some short term advantage (they were not conserving their tyres as much as the Lotus or the Ferrari), not knowing they were actually preparing the red carpet for the Mercedes domination.

        Current Mercedes domination is not merely due to the engine, I bet they would be just as dominant with these tyres if the V8 formula was still in place.

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