The Mercedes AMG Petronas team have dominated Formula One for the past three years. From 2014 to 2016, the Brackley squad have wrapped up the driver’s and constructor’s championship with relative ease. Fans already have a mental image of the Red Bull dominance from 2010 to 2013. although it can be argued that 2010 and the latter half of 2013 were the only times that Vettel’s Red Bull blitzed the field. Now Formula One’s new owners Liberty Media and Ross Brawn, the new Managing Director, are aiming to put a stop to a single team’s dominance and level the playing field.
F1’s new revolutionary rules took shape in Australia a couple of weeks ago, and the drivers were delighted by the power of these beasts. By the end of the GP, Mercedes’ monopoly had been broken by Ferrari. Whether this was temporary or a sign of things to come is another story.
But another problem has surfaced, the lack of overtaking in the race was as clear as daylight. The cars are simply unable to follow each other closely due to the turbulent air generated. Although the Albert Park circuit is not well known for being a circuit that drivers can overtake on, it was rather boring to watch the cars circulate without finding decent chances to overtake. Even Vettel’s victory was decided by a clever strategy call by the Ferrari team and Lewis Hamilton getting stuck behind Max Verstappen.
Brawn says that he and his colleagues will do anything in their power to maintain the sport’s reputation as a zenith for single seater racing. “I cannot say whether I can change the rules when the races are not exciting enough, I cannot individually decide whether the rules should be different; we will do that with each other. However, if it appears that certain aspects of the rules are not liked, we are going to take our steps. We will work with the FIA and the teams to make it more attractive for the fans,” said the Englishman.
He added “We’ve got to flatten off the field and that means, quite honestly, finding ways of limiting the potential of the regulations or limiting the resources teams have at their availability. The fact is … however good a small team is, it won’t beat a very good big team and we need to have all very good teams in Formula One, all of a similar band with all the same potential to win a race.’’
According to Brawn, if they feel that the current rules are not enough, they may change the rules for 2018. “What sort of engines do we want for the future? I think when we determine that … then we can start to build the plan around that engine because I think some of the thoughts that we have got at this stage fall in line with the introduction of a new engine.”