Mercedes are nearing a record of dominance which eluded F1’s greatest cars

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With their 10th pole position from as many races in Sochi last week, Mercedes came a step closer to achieving a record of dominance which has eluded them several times before.

Once again, they are on course to become the first team to sweep every single pole position in a world championship season.

Incredibly, Mercedes and five of their current rivals have come within one race of achieving the feat in the past. In every season from 2014 to 2016 Mercedes took all bar one of the pole positions available.

Alfa Romeo and Ferrari nearly did it back in the early years of the world championship, in 1950 and 1952. They missed out only at the Indianapolis 500 in those two seasons. This was not run to F1 rules, and Alfa Romeo did not attend in 1950, though Ferrari sent a single car for Alberto Ascari two years later.

McLaren took 15 poles in 1988 – 13 were Senna’s
For a long time the prospects of anyone heading the field at every single race looked remote, particularly as the calendar grew longer. It wasn’t until the late eighties that anyone came that close again.

By the end of the turbo era Honda had achieved an unrivalled mastery of the formula. McLaren, who did not take a single pole in 1987 with their ageing TAG-Porsche engines, switched to Honda for 1988 claimed the top spot at all bar one of the races the following year. This wasn’t simply due to the quality of its engine or even the superiority of its driver pairing – Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost – but also the exquisite craft of the low-slung MP4/4 chassis.

Lotus, equipped with the same engines plus three-times champion Nelson Piquet, were regularly a second or more off pole position, and only qualified on the second row twice. McLaren’s run of poles was interrupted on home ground at Silverstone by Ferrari.

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Alain Prost, Williams, Adelaide, 1993
Williams were denied a clean sweep at the last race of 1993
Despite a wholesale change of formula for the following year – 1.5-litre turbocharged units swapped for 3.5-litre normally aspirated engines – Honda remained the benchmark, and McLaren again took pole at every race bar one. In a sign of things to come, this time the interlopers were Williams-Renault.

By 1992 they had become were the dominant force in Formula 1 and not just thanks to their superb V10 engine. Patrick Head, Adrian Newey and Paddy Lowe melded aerodynamics, electronics and car dynamics to incredible effect with their active suspension FW14B.

This car was almost comically quicker than anything else on the track. It took the genius of Senna to displace it from pole position at the Canadian Grand Prix, edging Riccardo Patrese to second and bumping Nigel Mansell off the front row for the only time all year.

Vettel set a record 15 poles in his RB7
Williams iterated the design for 1993 and remained the class of the field. So much so that as they approached the final grand prix of the season, they had started every race that year from pole position. But around the short Adelaide circuit they were soundly beaten by – who else? – Senna, running on fumes in his McLaren, having accidentally toggled his radio on, and therefore unable to hear his team urging him to pit because he was almost out of fuel…

The field closed up in the years that followed. Following the reintroduction of refuelling in 1994, by the early noughties drivers had to qualify with their starting fuel loads, spoiling the purity of qualifying as an index of one-lap speed.

Proper qualifying finally returned in 2010, and the following year another Renault-powered Newey creation – the Red Bull RB11 – came within one race of sweeping every pole position. Sebastian Vettel racked up 15 poles over the course of the year – a record which still stands – but at round 16 in South Korea he was knocked off the top spot by Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren.

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Two years later Hamilton was in a Mercedes and therefore perfectly placed to reap the benefits of their standard-setting V6 hybrid turbo power unit. They crushed the competition almost totally in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Yet each year a different rival denied them a clean sweep of pole positions.

Mercedes have come close to a clean sweep three times
In 2014 it was Williams, courtesy of Felipe Massa at the Red Bull Ring after both Hamilton and Nico Rosberg made mistakes. Nonetheless, Mercedes power took pole at all 19 rounds that year.

In 2015 it was Ferrari, in Singapore, where Mercedes were a baffling 1.4 seconds off the pace and confined to the third row. This rare defeat meant they fell one short of equalling the record of 24 consecutive poles Williams set in 1993, which they still hold.

Finally in 2016 an inspired lap by Daniel Ricciardo in Monaco put his Red Bull on pole position by a tenth of a second from Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes. For the third year in a row, a clean sweep had eluded them.

If Mercedes are to finally achieve a monopoly of pole positions this year, they won’t need to start from the front as many times as they did in any of those three seasons, as this year’s championship has been cut to 17 rounds.

So far the closest any of their rivals has come to beating them was at Mugello, where Max Verstappen’s Red Bull was 0.365 seconds slower than the pole-winning W11. Could he, or another of their rivals, deny Mercedes the record, as has happened so many times before?

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The 10 times a team almost set pole in every race

YearRacesTeamPolesRace missed
19507Alfa Romeo6Indianapolis (Agajanian)
19528Ferrari7Indianapolis (Cummins)
198816McLaren15Silverstone (Ferrari)
198916McLaren15Hungaroring (Williams)
199216Williams15Circuit Gilles Villeneuve (McLaren)
199316Williams15Adelaide (McLaren)
201119Red Bull18Korea International Circuit (McLaren)
201419Mercedes18Red Bull Ring (Williams)
201519Mercedes18Singapore (Ferrari)
201621Mercedes20Monaco (Red Bull)
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Sochi Autodrom, 2020
Wil the Mercedes W11 be the first car to take pole position at every race in a season?

F1 history

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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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51 comments on “Mercedes are nearing a record of dominance which eluded F1’s greatest cars”

  1. I suspect the only way Mercedes will be denied pole position at any race this year will be due to penalties. Could easily have been the case at Sochi, had the stewards ruled differently.

    1. @red-andy Ruled differently what? The stuff that led to any penalty happened ahead of the race, not in qualifying. He didn’t do anything grid-drop penalty worth stuff there.

      1. @jerejj Hamilton and three other drivers were investigated for wrongly rejoining the track after going off at turn 2 in qualifying. The stewards decided not to issue penalties, instead warning that similar infringements in the race would lead to drivers being penalised (as indeed came to pass, e.g. with Ricciardo). But they would have been within their rights to issue a grid penalty, which would have put Verstappen on pole.

        1. They deleted their laps … they cant be punished twice for the same incident

    2. Indeed if the stewards would have acted quicker and given Hamilton grid penalties instead of time penalties Max would have been on Pole.
      Could have been interesting to see how Bottas would chase Max and if he would have been able to overtake. Likely Bottas first would have had to overtake Perez as Perez would have started 3rd (clean side) and Bottas 2nd (dirty side).

    3. @red-andy, I agree that your scenario of a grid-penalty is the only option to deny Mercedes a sweep of the pole position this season. However that would also create a “curious” situation: Mercedes would not start all races in pole, and by definition the pole position is the driver starting first that might not be the one with the best qualifying time, but would still had the fastest qualifying times in the season. But I guess that is not enough to qualify for this particular record (I suppose it needs to be the official pole)

      1. Jose Lopes da Silva
        1st October 2020, 9:44

        Yeah, otherwise Schumacher would have been pole position in Monaco 2012.

    4. To those who keep insisting Lewis Hamilton deserved his 10 second penalty at the Russian grand prix please check out these wise words from this formula 1 expert on YouTube. Either click on the bellow link or copy and paste the link to the top of your browser and then press enter. Click
      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Tl04ygbbrqE

  2. Excellence at its finest. Hamilton could have probably had a shot at pole in Monaco 2016 if it were not for that engine issue in Q3 if I remembered correctly.

  3. It’s a shame that F1 never learned from its mistakes and let unhealthy dominance continue to this day.

    Also strange that drivers in these field brakers are still revered for their performances in them, even though it’s hardly a measure.

    1. Jose Lopes da Silva
      1st October 2020, 9:46

      Lot of people criticise Lionel Messi for never having left FC Barcelona.

    2. @balue Some people have developed a sophisticated cognitive ability to assess relative performance by taking into such variables. True, that must appear strange if you haven’t.

      1. @david-br Let me take a wild guess that one of the persons with such a unique “sophisticated cognitive ability” is you? Lol.

        1. @balue Actually, no. Just the 99% who aren’t tedious Hamilton trolls.

          1. @david-br Then by logical consequence you would not be in that group, and hence must have this amazing “sophisticated cognitive ability” you speak of, yet you obviously didn’t grasp this simple reasoning either, lol.

            Hamilton fanatics in a nutshell really. Incredibly tiring. I think you better step away from this one before more damage is done.

    3. F1 does learn from unhealthy dominance. Didn’t they just ban “Qualifying modes” in engines? Last year there was a ban on burning engine oil, and weren’t Ferrari suspected of cheating the fuel flow monitoring systems? Now there’s are a budget cap and a personnel cap, and also a change in how money is distributed to the teams. All these are there in part to counter unhealthy dominance. The real problem isn’t that Mercedes have the best package in town, the problem is the other teams are slow to catch up.

      1. @drycrust Obviously too simplistic to say teams are slow to catch up, when money is not limitless for 10-12 teams. A strict budget cap should have been in place years if not decades ago, and regulation should stay stable and confined. Those are just the main things I can think of, there are of course much more. Carefully picked and altered tracks, fine tuning of tyre rules etc etc.

    4. Its not Mercedes fault that the other teams aren’t competing. Ferrari who should be their nearest rivals, with all their resources and knowledge, tried to bend the rules rather than pursue serious technological answers. Just how long they thought they would have got away with their rule bending is anyones guess, but they clearly had no plan B.

      Redbull are getting closer with their one man team, but even if Max were to win a championship, they as a team won’t be wining the constructors any time soon, not unless they started to pay equal interest to both their drivers.

      The other teams either don’t have the resources, or are dependent on the leading teams for their engines. The one
      exception is Renault, whose power units have certainly turned a corner, leaving their aerodynamics to catchup.

      As for the FIA, its hard to see what they can do redress the balance, short of sending the middle order teams back to design school.

  4. So far the closest any of their rivals has come to beating them was at Mugello, where Max Verstappen’s Red Bull was 0.365 seconds slower than the pole-winning W11.

    Ok, there are only 7 races left, but only Bahrain 1 and Abu Dhabi are not new ones. That means we have 5 races where teams have no data and :
    if there is a wet weekend (Nurburgring maybe?) especially if that happens in Imola with just 1 FP before the quali,
    if they get it wrong with the tyres or an accidental tow on quali (like Bottas on Max in Russia),
    if there are some unexpected penalties (gearbox penalties, driver mistakes, being caught off by a yellow flag on the fast lap in quali, grid penalties for driver infractions)
    or if Mercedes massivly misjudge their setup in a strange venue (Singapore, Mexico) like it happens once in a while and they are suddenly way off pace…
    then and only then i think Max (because who else is capable?) could snatch a pole.

    Not very entirely impossible to happen… after all after the first 3 races people were saying “Mercedes could do a clean sweep this year and win every race unopposed”… and since then Lewis barely won with 3 wheels in Silverstone 1, Max beat both Mercs in the same track the next week, Gasly won! from P10!, and we had 5 race starts in Monza & Mugello…

    1. Yes, there’s the possibility ofc, and yes, verstappen is the only one who can do it, however I think mercedes are the favourite, as in it’s more likely they make the record than fail it.

      In any case it’s good to have all these “new” races in the end of the year.

  5. Kind of a pointless statistic if Mercedes already dominate the #poles/#races

  6. This is probably why the qualifying races debacle has come about. Mercedes unprecedented dominance in qualifying has made it a bit of a pointless spectacle. It’s difficult to remember the races now in 2010 when there were three teams fighting it out for pole and you had no idea who be in which position. Now you already know Mercedes will get the front row. And if not, then it’ll be 2 cars in the top 3.

    I know we’ve had the odd season with glimmers of other cars on pole, notably Ferrari last year, but this is the seventh season now where Mercedes are consistently at the top (and they had a fair few poles in 2013..). I can’t wait for the tune to change.

    1. @cduk_mugello was there really that much of a battle for pole in 2010? In 2010 Vettel took more pole positions (10) than every other one of his rivals combined (9 between Webber, Alonso, Hamilton and Hulkenberg).

      If you add Webber’s 5 poles to the 10 Vettel got, 15 out of 19 pole positions went to Red Bull that season. Red Bull also managed to secure 7 front row lockouts that season, making them the only manufacturer to have both drivers qualify on the front row in any races that season – the closest Ferrari got was a single 1-3 starting position in Italy, and the closest McLaren got was a 1-4 qualifying result in Canada.

      When you look back at it, Red Bull were actually fairly dominant in terms of qualifying performance that season – no other team came close to matching their performance in the end.

      1. Maybe I’m misremembering or confusing it with 2012. It definitely ‘feels’ like there was more of a scrap for pole around then.

        1. @cduk_mugello – 2012 was probably what you were thinking. Five different teams took poles that year. Mostly two teams dominated poles, but still much better than now.
          Mclaren – 8
          Ferrari – 2
          Red Bull – 8
          Mercedes – 1
          Williams – 1

          Was also the year of many winners (7 different winners in first 7 races, and 8 different winners overall). Wins by team:
          Mclaren – 7
          Ferrari – 3
          Red Bull – 7
          Mercedes – 1
          Williams – 1
          Lotus – 1

      2. Look at the times though, Vettel was not getting pole by half a second, it was much closer than the final tally suggested

  7. One way of looking at this is as follows:

    In last 33 years (1988 to 2020), there was race fuel qualifying for 16 years (1994 to 2009). In the remaining 17 years, there were 8 years (~50%) where one team swept all but one pole positions.

    What this tells us that dominance in F1 is a way of life (~50%) and that is undoubtedly going to make it boring for spectators.
    Let us consider other sports for a bit. Most of them reset after one ’round’ of play. In tennis, the service alternates between players after every game. In cricket, every ball resets the equation between the batsman and bowler. In football, every time the ball goes outside the field, the players get a chance to recharge, rearrange players and try things differently. And these sports have not seen absolute dominance as frequently as F1.

    It is only in F1 where there is no ‘reset’ button. Once you get pole position, all you need to do is drive fast in circles. The advantage of one driver over others ‘cumulatively’ accumulates lap on lap. Which makes it even more difficult for the pursuer to reduce this gap. The opponents in other sports get far more chances to outwit their opponents even if they are behind.

    Making more standing car restarts is a good start from that perspective. A restart is the closest thing to a reset button F1 has. I feel converting a race into 2 mini-races (With grid order changed in some meaningful way between the 2 mini-races) with accumulated times across both can be trialled out. With advanced AI/ML and image processing, one can easily put in ghost cars (combining the aggregate times) during the live telecast to give the perception of thrill and suspense to the viewer. Already, football and cricket (IPL) create fake audience sounds for the viewer. F1 should also try out some new format.

    1. there was race fuel qualifying for 16 years (1994 to 2009)

      Not quite – refuelling returned in 1994 but race fuel qualifying didn’t begin until 2003.

    2. Sumedh – I am not sure that your comparison works because the advantages are baked into the car for the bulk of the season. The spending cap will help with this, imo, but it won’t be a panacea.

      Cars that are ahead will remain ahead because trailing teams won’t be able to spend enough to catch up. Like engine development tokens. It is okay as long as everything is equal to start, but if someone starts way ahead or finds a massive breakthrough, any restrictions on testing/spending become chokepoints.

      I think the only way to increase competition at this point is to start using equalization measures like WEC.

    3. sumedh, with regards to the idea of multiple races with aggregate timing – the sport has already kind of done that in the past.

      In the 1980s and 1990s, it was often the case that races which were red flagged partway through would then be restarted with a standing start, and the race order would then be determined by the aggregate times from the two parts of the race being added together – see, as examples, the 1981 French GP, the 1982 Detroit GP, the 1987 Mexican GP or the 1994 Japanese GP (which was the last race that saw that system used).

      In the past, at least, the system was generally found to be more confusing and wasn’t really all that popular, which is why they eventually dropped the idea

      1. Anon, your superb knowledge of F1 brightens every topic. Great to have you here.

  8. Dave (@davewillisporter)
    1st October 2020, 13:47

    Always makes me chuckle when people are watching history in the making and records tumbling and bemoaning the dominance. Yeah, watching Usain Bolt, Tiger Woods and the Williams sisters was sooooo boring! Wasn’t F1 so boring in the 90s and 2000s and 2010s when all those great drivers, great cars and great teams were performing at their best, yawn! Why do Ross Brawn, Adrian Newey etc need to be soooo good! Yawn! Now if only we had more equal cars and a different driver winning every race, wouldn’t that be exciting? Yes, it’s called F2. Go watch it. This is F1 and that’s how it has always been. Just enjoy history being made.

    1. @davewillisporter – The Federer/Nadal era drove me from tennis. I fully appreciate their skills, and there were some great matches. But watching a tournament became useless because I already knew who would win. Same with Venus/Serena. And I was an MSC fan during his dominance and even I got bored of it. I wanted to see more challenges to him. It was not fun or amazing to watch someone lap the field.

      I appreciate Mercedes technical abilities. I appreciated their movement up the field in 2010-2013. I accepted 2014 because they clearly got on top of the change in regs way better than their rivals. But we are not in 2014. Or 2015. Or 2016. We’re on year 7 now and the only team to give them any trouble basically did so by breaking the rules and is now behind its own support team.

      If Merc was beating teams on track that were pushing them and fighting them, that would be one thing. But the season was over before it even started. That is neither interesting nor enjoyable to watch.

      1. Even 2014-2016 was more fun, since at least the Merc boys fought hard all season, Hamilton just dominates Bottas and you pretty much know that once Hamilton takes pole the race is pretty much over.

        This is the Federer/Nadal era but without Nadal.

      2. Well @hobo, as @davewillisporter says, F1 just isn’t the right sport for you is it. It’s a team sport designing prototypes, the teams are huge, it’s all extreme, the best drivers end up in the best teams along with the best engineers and the best culture and the best infrastructure. There’s a huge amount of inertia.

        It’s not a sport that naturally has a lot of change in the pecking order, over any short period of time. It’s a sport for admiring extreme excellence, savouring the awesomeness, not for having lots of different winners.

        Tho there are still uncertainties to watch for. What will Michael and the stewards try next? Can Mercedes get all the poles? Which driver can be 4th, and which team 3rd?

        1. @zann – It may not be for me. And F1 will not miss me when I go, nor should it. But losing fans of a sport that have been watching and getting others to watch for 20+years isn’t a great achievement for F1.

          And while great teams and great drivers often do find each other, that isn’t always the case. Look how many years Alonso lost. I would argue it’s largely his fault for being less than stellar when it comes to personality. Also, if the sport is simply supposed to be one stretch of domination after another, the it definitely isn’t for me.

          1. Well @hobo fair enough but if you’ve been watching since 2000 then you’ve had the Schumi dominant era, the Sebi dominant era and the Lewis dominant era. That’s more years than not, in fact nearly all, with 2009 which was pretty open and shut from the start too.

            Fernando and 2007/8 were outliers, yes, but they’re the exception more than the rule. It’s built into the nature of F1 I think, that there’s this inertia, how the many factors for success tend to accumulate in one team at a time. So right now James Allison and everybody else wants to be in Mercedes, so do the sponsors, all the drivers, they can take their pick of the best people and pay them too.

            Then eventually they’ll lose a bit of drive, do the same things for too long, and someone else with more energy will take over and suck the best people and sponsors in. Or we might get lucky and have two top teams, but only if we get lucky. It’s a setback of course that we’re losing Honda.

      3. Dave (@davewillisporter)
        1st October 2020, 19:55

        @hobo Guess you missed Murray’s year or Osaka beating Serena. That’s what happens when you switch off a sport because “excitement” Formula One is a fascinating story of engineering, blood, sweat, tears, politics, excellence, stopwatch, relentless progress. If you are just focussed on the racing, watch something else. There are better series out there if you want to see an overtake every 5 seconds and not know anything about the winner of a particular race. F1 is like the race for space. Balls to the wall development and spending to beat your competition. If you do one thing to broaden your understanding of F1, please read Ross Brawn’s book “Total Competition” Anyone that states F1 is boring does not understand it sufficiently. I was watching a race with my mother recently. Bless her, she’d been told to shut up when she asked questions about it in years past (not by me!) She said, ” this is a boring race.” I took her through timings, lap times, strategy, what if’s, implications of an incident or a stewards ruling. Why teams are where they are, politics and on and on. It’s F1 for a reason. That is the sport. On track action? Would be nice but there is so much more to the sport.

        1. @davewillisporter – What a lovely attitude.

          I specifically said above that I can appreciate skill, talent, performance. But F1 is not track or tennis or golf. In those sports, everyone at the top levels has access to the same gear. F1 is not the same thing. And it’s not a great comparison. I get it, they are “solo” sports, but not equivalent.

          If you honestly think that a team running away with both championships for 7 years straight is either par for the course for F1 or makes F1 interesting, then we differ on what is interesting. Close racing is interesting to me. The ability to pass without having to resort to DRS on a mile-long straight is interesting to me; not overtaking for the sake of overtaking.

          I own Brawn’s book and have read it. But if you really think reading a single book means anything, we’ll just have to agree to disagree. What you are doing is gatekeeping. Because I don’t subscribe to the same notions that you do I must not be a real fan, right? What if I had read Newey’s book instead? Or just been a fan and followed the sport for 25 years rather than reading a book? At what point are opinions on the sport that differ from yours valid?

          I have never claimed to be at the level of a chief strategist, or F1 engineer. But I feel I have followed and know the sport quite well. In my opinion, if you’ll deign to allow it, the sport has failed to provide the environment for proper competition. And continuing to do as it has done will harm its future.

    2. @davewillisporter
      The reason why dominance from Usain Bolt, Tiger Woods, Serena Williams, etc… is far more impressive than dominance from Lewis Hamilton is pretty simple.

      Those athletes did not have far superior machinery to their opponents.

      Usain Bolt didn’t have special shoes. Serena Williams doesn’t have a special tennis racket. Tiger Woods does not have a far more advanced golf club. They all played on a level playing field as their opponents.

      Lewis Hamilton’s success is a product of his dominant machinery. That’s why he was irrelevant from 2009 to 2013 when he did not have the best car.

      For that reason alone, I cannot rage his achievements on par with actual sporting greats.

      1. I don’t think you are supposed to say that here. Just drink the F1 and Hamilton koolaid like everyone else.

      2. what are you talking about? nobody would have won any F1 championship without either the best car or something close to it , this is F1 and it has always been that way.

        would Vettel have won any championship if he’d stayed at Toro Rosso? NOPE!

  9. Mark in Florida
    1st October 2020, 18:05

    Greatness doesn’t seem as great when no one is pushing or even challenging you at all. Mercedes deserves all of the accolades. They have done an incredible job of utilizing the rules,that’s not their fault. The other teams notably Renault have done a poor job of it, ironically after lobbying for the new engine formula. Ferrari dominated for a long time when Schumacher was there until the FIA changed the tire rules to hobble them. Dominance comes and goes in F1 so a driver has to be in the right place at the right time. So far as equalizing the field it sounds like people want it to be like Indy Car just more high class and much more expensive.

    1. Dave (@davewillisporter)
      1st October 2020, 20:08

      Renault lobbied for in line four pots. Ferrari and Merc beat them and got V6 as it suited their target market. Renault had gambled on their idea and developed down that direction. Merc had gambled on V6’s and as a result had a massive lead on development. Not sure how Ferrari were so bad in 2014 as they gambled same as Merc. They were quite focused on beating Redbull in 2012 and 13 so may have been that.

  10. In no other sport do you begrudge the winners from winning, Only here in F1 where sport is seen for its ‘entertainment’.

    Maybe the FIA should limit the length of working contracts within the sport, and subsidize saleries so the lesser performing teams can attract the better engineers.

    Another “tonge in cheek” answer would be for FIA sponcered pay bonuses, based on improvements in a team rankings. This might attract engineers from teams where they are unlikely to improve, to teams where there was a greater potential for improvement. ;)

    1. Ajaxn – First, no one is begrudging Merc’s wins. Some of us are bored that it is still going on 7 years in. Second, I’ll give you plenty of other sports where long-term dominance breeds boredom / annoyance / frustration. Granted, these are American sports leagues and teams but I’m sure there are other equivalents. New York Yankees, New England Patriots, Chicago Bulls, Golden State Warriors, and the list continues.

      The Patriots are a great example. They were a bad team for a long, long time. Never really a contender. Something like a Haas or maybe occasionally Toro Rosso. They could sneak a big win every now and then but had never won a title. All of a sudden they got good and were in the Super Bowl. A ton of people supported them because they were the underdogs. From 2001 to 2018 they were in 9 of the 18 title games (Super Bowls) and won 6 of them. That is way less dominant than Mercedes has been, and tons of people hate them now.

      I don’t think many F1 fans want actual spec cars. But I think a considerable number want a more equivalent playing field, so to speak. You see that in calls for more fair split of prize money, spending caps, and the like. Build your own amazing car, but do it on a simply astronomical budget, not one 10x that amount.

  11. Thank you very much for another very interesting article!

    1. @bulgarian You’re welcome, glad you enjoyed it!

  12. As a long time fan of F1, I can’t help but admire the achievements of the Mercedes team. It has simply been outstanding in all areas in order to maintain its position at the top.

    It also has to be acknowledged that having a truly great driver has contributed.

    What has surprised me though is that any time a competitor showed enough improvement to challenge them, there was the immediate accusations that they “must be cheating” when at no time throughout this period has there ever been a serious suggestion that Mercedes are or have been cheating.

    The mere fact that they have been acknowledged by their peers, by fans and by the media as just being too excellent to be beaten speaks volumes, and they have my admiration.

    Until someone else actually lifts their game, I’m content to watch the incredible battle that is going on in the midfield – that has led to some of the best racing I’ve seen in years, with the hope that in 2022, after the application of budget caps and new technical rules, other teams may actually improve enough to move that midfield battle to the front.

    Given their skills and expertise though, I’d find it hard to bet against Mercedes bringing a dominant car to 2022. Let’s hope that if we do, the other teams lift their game instead of having the regulators change things just to handicap one team “for the show”.

  13. It’s basically insane that this feat hasn’t been achieved yet. I never heard about Senna hitting the radio button by accident. Crazy.

    I predict that Max will just sneak a pole in at Portiamo in wet conditions.

  14. It certainly is respectable that Mercedes have dominated for so long but it’s also created a farce, and everyone knows it.

    Mercedes have literally removed the sport’s competition for wins. It’s cost the sport viewers, both past and new and again, the powers that be know this.

    Only so much success can be celebrated. Once they have beaten every record, the only motivations left are likely to be negative.

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