So we are only one race in and already Formula 1 is grappling with some pretty serious stuff. After an Australian Grand Prix that saw only eleven of twenty cars finish (and only fifteen cars even start), there were rumbles of discontent surrounding the lack of on-track action, a race once again dominated by Mercedes, and little sign that 2015 will be any different to 2014.
There is a brewing argument between Red Bull and Mercedes over equalising engine performance (which would of course wipe out the considerable advantage Mercedes have), and such is the extent of the bitterness over Mercedes and their mighty engines that Red Bull have even suggested they could quit F1 in the near future.
It is of course only my humble opinion, but I cannot help but suspect, if Red Bull were the team dominating the sport (as they did with four consecutive driver and constructor titles from 2010 – 2013), there would be no complaining. One of Red Bull’s ‘issues’ is that the emphasis of the cars has shifted away from aerodynamics (which was where Red Bull’s advantage came from) to engine power (and the Renault power units have never been the most powerful).
However, Formula 1 has always been a balance between engine power and aerodynamics. In fact, last season served to demonstrate that a good design can overcome limitations of engine power – the Red Bull was the only car other than Mercedes to win any races in 2014, and they finished second in the constructor’s championship, ahead of Mercedes-powered teams such as Williams, McLaren and Force India. How did they achieve this? With a superior chassis! It is hardly the fault of Mercedes or the rule-makers that Renault have gone backward in 2015, and Red Bull seem to be throwing their toys out of the pram with their threat to quit. I am not impressed, and I doubt anyone else is.
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