Ferrari has aptly challenged the Formula One Silver Arrows – but the Bucking Horses may not have as much of a chance as they believe.
When a team like Mercedes dominates the headlines for multiple years in a row, it is natural that the sport will begin to turn against them. After all, no one wants to tune into season after season of any Motorsport where the winning team is always the same. The dynamics of intra-team battles are lost, and the sport as a whole begins to suffer.
Many a Formula One fan has had their spirits brightened by the sudden surge of competition from team Ferrari, after Sebastian Vettel’s explosive initial outing in Melbourne Australia. And while the Italian marque has managed to put their drivers on the podium several more times since Vettel’s initial win, Mercedes has been putting the necessary work in to show why they have been reigning champions for three years in a row.
Long days and even longer nights are what will keep the Silver Arrows ahead of their competition, but even their leadership knows that large, sweeping decisions will not bring them the results that they seek. Rather, it will be a the in-the-moment adjustments and corrections that will see them emerge victorious. Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff described their current situation as equally challenging as their previous years, but stressed that the sport is a matter of science, not intuition:
“It will be another challenging situation. Last year it was a difficult race, completely different, and at the moment we need to stay race-by-race, stay in the same calm mode we are and collect points.
There will be good weekends and very good weekends, and there will be the odd bad weekend. We had it in Monte Carlo and Ferrari had it Canada. It is just about limiting those.
The more data you collect, the more you understand. We have seen it in last year, we grew stronger every year and this is not an instinct business, this is a scientific business. I think every mile we drive is going to make us perform better, and hopefully good enough to compete for the championship.”
– Toto Wolff
Mr. Wolff is no stranger to success, and he is undoubtedly hard-set on keeping his career that way. While Ferrari has managed to mount an impressive attack on the reigning champs, there have been small cracks in their composure that may threaten their performance down the road. One potential loose cannon being Sebastian Vettel.
Vettel’s enthusiasm for the sport and for victory is commendable, but his temper can run quite hot – as we’ve often seen in the past. As the season escalates and the fight for the championship begins to heat up once more, there’s no telling how Vettel will handle further victories by Mercedes – or perhaps even Ferrari’s own Kimi Raikkonen.
The bucking horses do indeed have their work cut out for them, and Mercedes will do everything to stand in their way if they can help it.