Has the lack of real competition at the front in Formula One diluted the excitement of the show? Red Bull’s team principal believes so, and we’re inclined to agree to an extent.
Mercedes can’t be criticised for doing an incredible job over the last three-years. They have designed the fastest cars and have had two drivers able enough to bring home a top yield of 43-points over a single race weekend regularly.
Formula One has always had sequences in which one team enjoys victory over a few years. Schumacher at Ferrari, Vettel at Red Bull and the recent Mercedes era have been the biggest three era’s of dominance in the 21st century. But as Christian Horner points out, when Red Bull were claiming titles consecutively, the competition was fiercer and the race results more varied.
“Nobody enjoys serial winning. We were accused of it in the four-year cycle we had.
But one of those years there were seven winners in the first seven races. Two of those championships went down to the final grand prix. And it was always a battle either with Ferrari or McLaren or Mercedes towards the end. There was far more competition.
I think F1 is in desperate need of that competitive element – where you really need three and six drivers going into a grand prix who can be capable of winning it.
– Christian Horner
The competition was so tough that we can’t recall too many occasions in which Vettel’s lead was so great that he could afford to coast and turn his engine down. Considering that Mercedes have only had to occupy themselves with “race management” at times, will the new regulations allow for the wider fight for race wins that Formula One needs?
Whilst Mercedes are expected to be fastest at the start of the season again, the freeze on in-season upgrades, especially engine upgrades has been axed for the 2017 season, which should allow Red Bull and Ferrari to catch-up much more quickly if there is a significant gap to fill. Horner added,
“I think changing the rules shakes things up a bit. I am sure Toto would like to freeze the cars for the next five years. But I think a change of regulations presents a great opportunity for us.
I think we have got a strong team, we have a strong driver pairing and we have all the ingredients to put a strong campaign together for next year – and hopefully really close that gap down to the dominance we have seen from Mercedes.”
– Christian Horner