Daniel Ricciardo, Renault, Silverstone, 2020

Mercedes’ dominance “admirable but frustrating” – Ricciardo

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In the round-up: Daniel Ricciardo says Mercedes’ continued dominance of Formula 1 deserves respect, though it frustrates him.

What they say

Ricciardo was speaking after qualifying, where Mercedes were over a second a lap quicker than anyone else.

I feel like I’ve always been on the side of taking my hat off to them and putting the [onus] on everyone else to find what they’re doing and to work a little harder or in another direction.

Even the DAS system, I think, when I saw that in winter testing, I was very complimentary because they have the ability to be the most complacent team on the grid yet I feel they are the least complacent. This is this is the bar that they’ve set and they keep moving.

So it’s admirable, it’s frustrating as competitors, but I really hope for everyone, for all the teams, it’s just more fuel for the fire and [they’ll] just dig a little deeper to find some answers. I won’t lie, it still is frustrating to see such performance. But all you can do is take your hat off to them, really. You can’t be bitter, they are doing a great job.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

@Wsrgo spotted an unusual technique by Charles Leclerc at the final corner:

Anybody else notice Leclerc’s unorthodox racing line at Club? He was widening his entry into the corner, slingshotting out tight with less throttle maybe, but a shorter run up to the line.

Given how close the line is to the final corner, I’m surprised nobody else has been trying the same trick. Getting a strong exit on your hot lap isn’t useful, since you don’t need to carry all that speed into Abbey anyway.


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On this day in F1

  • 50 years ago today Jochen Rindt scored his final F1 win in the German Grand Prix, the first to be held at the Hockenheimring, due to concerns over the safety of the Nurburgring Nordschleife

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  • 37 comments on “Mercedes’ dominance “admirable but frustrating” – Ricciardo”

    1. Very eloquently put by Danny Ric there, Mercedes dominance is the fault of the 9 other teams that absolutely need to dig deeper.

      1. Eric LeFrancois
        2nd August 2020, 0:42

        On this day 40 years ago Patrick Depailler lost his life

      2. I kind of agree, but keep going back to the Red Bull years. They dominated, but nothing like what we have seen since 2014 from Merc. Yet the FIA were very quick to rein in their advantages. However there has been zero action from them in relation to the Mercedes dominance. Even when Ferrari dominated a single season in 2002 rule changes were introduced to try and slow them down. But seven years of absolutely dominating F1 has seen nothing from the FIA. And if the power train rules don’t change your n the near future, I don’t see anything changing either.

        1. Very well said: why the different treatment to Mercedes? Every other time, the dominant team was slowed down. During the Schumacher-Ferrari years, the rules were changed every year to throw curve balls to them. Since 2014 nothing similar has happened. Why?

          1. Firstly, how many of the rule changes in that period were explicitly to slow Ferrari down?

            There were times when some rules were pretty clearly hitting other teams – the beryllium alloy ban targeted Mercedes, which had the impact of slowing them down for a few years whilst Mercedes had to redesign their engines. The Michelin tyre ruling in 2003 was also highly controversial and was seen as favouring Ferrari too, as their rivals seemed to lose pace afterwards and Schumacher narrowly won the title as a result.

            If anything, most of the complaints in that period were that the FIA was favouring Ferrari too much.

            Equally, as others note, there have been rule changes in more recent years that were pretty clearly targeted at Mercedes, such as those relating to the suspension system. However, in a number of cases, in attempting to hit Mercedes, they have often ended up hitting their rivals too – for example, Red Bull was also using a similar suspension system.

            Furthermore, how exactly are they meant to “slow them down” when, a lot of the time, there is no single “magic device” that makes them obviously faster? Attempts to change the rules to make aero more important – a change which Red Bull openly said they thought would be to their advantage – have had the opposite effect, and if anything that team has gone backwards recently, whilst attempts to target other aspects of the car have either had no impact, or only limited effect.

            The 2017 season was perhaps one case where the rules were changed and Mercedes were hit, with the late rule changes on the suspension hurting them – but, ultimately, we have seen the criticism that Ferrari had a chance and blew it.

            That does raise the other issue – does anyone trust their rivals to take that chance even if Mercedes was slowed down? Ferrari have been repeatedly criticized for underperforming and having had a reactionary management style that too often undoes their progress, whilst Red Bull have had a couple of cars in a row which seem to have been too aerodynamically unstable for the drivers to maximise their performance.

            If those teams are not maximising their own performance, then any attempt to slow Mercedes down is pointless. The focus trends to be on Mercedes, but given that Ferrari is in the midfield pack and Red Bull is setting slower qualifying times this year than they did in 2019, it’s as much down to their rivals falling back than anything Mercedes have done.

            1. @Anon: well said!
              Now we have another big chassis and aero change coming up in 2022…and guess what? As with the big change in 2017, a lot of people expect some other team to come up with a better package to dethrone the Mercs but as shown in 2014, 2017 and 2019, I wouldn’t be surprise if the Mercs end up with the best package again!!! They are simply a very great team, definitely hard to beat; rule change or not, other teams, especially Ferrari and RBR simply have to up their game, build cars that actually improve their pace instead of going backwards!!!

        2. Clay sorry but that’s surely on you then I have to say, though it is a bit of the Dr. Marko line.

          The 2019 front wing change may not have been explicitly against Merc, with them having been the pathfinders and leaders in using outwash front wings ut was expected to hit them harder than others.

          The 2016 change to wider cars with more aero focus was proposed by Red Bull and McLaren, officially to make the cars faster, but with a strong expectation of making those teams, who believed they were sttong there but with a weak PU, have more chances to beat Mercedes.

          Earlier there was the Fric-suspension ban, and throughout several oil-burning rulestto stop things that were expected to particularly affect Merc. DAS is also banned from next year.

          In truth, Red Bull before also were only stopped by rule changes they and their PU suppliers underestimated and/or went the wrong way on,and Ferrari seemed to become at least partially focused on internal structure/power rather than just winning on track.

          1. @bosyber 2017, not 2016.

          2. Exactly @bosyber Mercedes have had a great number of technical changes to negotiate that were a threat to their competitiveness, but because Mercedes rose to the challenge then people seem to forget about/dismiss those changes. They have just been amazing.

            It is a shame that the 2021 changes have been put back to 2022 due to the coronavirus crisis, but an additional ray of hope for those hoping that things will be closer in future is the research handicap system, where teams that finish higher up have a lower research and development cap, and vice versa, teams that finish lower have a higher research and development cap.

        3. Except that there have been several rule changes since 2017 that were expected to curb Mercedes but that have ended up impacting their rivals more. Short of mandating a high-rake concept and Ferrari engines for all teams, I’m not sure what would throw the team off-balance – they have truly mastered the art of building an F1 car.

          1. Why not doing exactly what you propose then? They didn’t seem to have many qualms with “operation: destroy ferrari” in 2005.

            I’m a big fan of operation: destroy mercedes!

            1. Is that why they banned Renault’s mass damper system when they realised that Ferrari were behind? @esploratore

        4. Weren’t the fia quick to rein in their advantages because they were loopholes found in regulations? The flexing wings and the blown diffusers.. whereas mercedes advantage has effectively been the engine, not really a loophole. Das would be an exploitation of a loophole and it has been reined in for next year.

          Dont get me wrong I love it when teams exploit loop holes and create these cool ways of getting more performance.. I loved the fduct too. And even the blown diffusers.. but this is just a case of the advantage coming from different areas not so much the fia being hard on red bull and easy on mercedes..

          And of course mercedes is very strong overall, added to the strong engine

      3. Right, because everyone can employ thousands of people and have their own engine plant next to the factory. Red Bull and Ferrari should be a lot closer but apart from that, the argument that “other teams should just work harder” is laughable.

        1. Red Bull and Ferrari should be a lot closer but apart from that, the argument that “other teams should just work harder” is laugh

          @pironitheprovocateur if red bull and Ferrari were closer/competing then there wouldn’t be all of this complaining in the first place. The other teams will have more opportunities from 2022 onwards

      4. @ahxshades with respect but that’s too simplistic when one looks at the budgets of the other teams. Having 100s more staff and better facilities translates to performance, there is really no doubt about it. Saying the others are failing because of effort is in fact slightly demeaning.

        1. Shhh, you cannot say this to Mercedes witnesses. cAN’t yOU rAtHeR ApPrEciATe hOW gReAT tHEY Are?

          1. Mercedes Witnesses lol.

            Yeah there’s a big difference between a team with immense financial and technological resources that get paid for turning up and others that are on the verge of selling up to stay on the grid. The grid is certainly not equal, nor is F1 a meritocracy despite it’s insistence it is. Telling others ‘they should be just better’, and Mercedes are just ‘that good’ is ignoring a fairly large chunk of the story. They are the ‘best’ because they have the financial and technological resources to be so, and the rules are structured to allow them to retain that advantage while hampering those behind. Their dominance is a result of that financial and rule disparity.

          2. Even though, in your own posts, you criticise Red Bull and Ferrari?

            In their case, you cannot say that they are impoverished teams barely getting by.

            1. In my opinion It is unffair to judge that 8 out of 9 others teams cannot reach Mercedes … They just dont’ t haver the Financial and humana resources to do so …..

              Even Red Bull had ( by the RaceFans report) a budget of 335 millions against 420 of Mercedes ( a massive 85 millions Gap) …. O Beto this extra money could gelo Red Bull to fins some more tenths in their car ….

              The only one that can have the resources to Challenge merc is ferrari and this team had been extremely incopetent in the last years …..

              I thin the problem is not Just the rules but the Financial model that the sport is currently using ….no Wonder they Will adress this for 2022 …..

              I know that money and structure were always Key in F-1 but with the advent of hybrids engines ( in my opinion the biggest Challenge the F1 teams ever faced in terms of complexity) they were more crucial than ever …. And in this case have the Full support of a giant like Mercedes was decisive …

              Sorry for the english, It is not my Native language

    2. Ricciardo is right of course it is a competition of engineering excellence and Merc have made more right decisions than wrong. It really is up to the other teams to catch up and the budget cap properly enforced will help to do that along with stability in the rules.

    3. The point is…how long do we wait for this phenomena to occur?

    4. I am a big time Lewis fan, for his amazing driving and racing skills.

      I will accept Ricciardo into the Merc team to partner Lewis with both arms wide open.
      He’s respectful and hungry.

      Hope this happens soon.
      Bottas sucks, didn’t even bother to attack Max in the last lap, what a bump. And this season he’s finding so many excuses. Too much fuel in the quali, so why are you 30 seconds behind lewis in the race? They pumped extra 30 kg of fuel???

      1. He’s just not as good as Lewis. you could do a lot worse than that as an F1 driver

        i would also say, they are an ideal pair for Mercedes. unlike Redbull which might as well only have 1 driver

    5. I do wonder if this year’s Mercedes has enough capability to beat Ferrari 2019 at those tracks Ferrari had supremacy due to extra engine power? Or Ferrari still able continue to reign this year if without the interference from FIA last year?

      1. Good question, they improved so much that I think they’d win even on those tracks, since there was competition already in 2019.

    6. I wonder what the solution is to Mercedes’ dominance from all those who complain.
      1. Force Mercedes to drive with a bag of cement in each car.
      2. Make them miss 5 races a season.
      3. Find the flimsiest of excuses to penalise them
      4. Pay them first place prize money for the next 10 years on the condition they finish last.
      5. Allow the other teams to race with 5 liter engines.
      6. Think of even more mundane solutions.

      The truth is, Mercedes have done a very fine job. Their entire team works like a single machine perfectly tuned.
      They are winning because they have worked very hard not because anything was handed to them.
      Other teams should just think harder and plan better.
      You don’t feel great because you came first in class just because the best student missed the exams because of illness.

      1. How about freezing the winning teams development points to allow other teams to catch up?

        1. Lets blindfold intelligent students so they can’t see the exam questions.

          1. Ehm, didn’t they make specific rule changes against dominant teams before, particularly ferrari? So why do they blindfold other teams when they dominate but not mercedes?

      2. I see nobody complaining about Mercedes. They complain about the lack of progress by the others or the FIA by not taking measures to end the dominant position.
        Merc itself keeps rejuvenating and deserves its position.
        And BTW, they do make mistakes in the managing of their drivers on track.

    7. COTD: Yup, noticed that. Maybe it’s a combination of the Ferrari car/setup and the corner that allows him to drive the corner like that, and saving a few thousands of a second by doing so. Something similar to the start-finish straight at Montreal, where you might gain something small by going straight (staying on the right side of the track) instead of crossing.

      1. Interesting. Though if he wanted to reach the heights of a Senna, he should have maxxed out the style by spinning it over the line. :)

    8. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      2nd August 2020, 10:02

      It is sort of questionable why they risked putting Stroll on mediums for Q2 and in qualifyign and tha last practice, they didn’t look all that strong. He barely got through to Q3 on these. The team were posbably just risking it and starting on these may pay off well. Hulkenberg was on super softs and was only a fraction behind, though several positions.

    9. Brits when Red Bull’s dominanting F1 for one year: “Finally someone other than Red Bull on pole position!”
      Brits when Mercedes’ doing it for seven years: “Obviously, you have to admire this team…”

      Almost as if it was given by their driver preference, I wonder.

    10. Seems to be a joint presentation Sky/C4 live from the track being broadcast by F1 on youtube


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