The 2014 Formula One non-WDC

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
I have read a lot of comments on here and elsewhere about how the WDC is worthless this season due to the superiority of the Mercedes package.

However, it has more often than not been the case though that each season there is a dominant car, so one would have to question why that particular view is being touted only now.

In 2009 it was the Brawn, until the rest of the field caught up mid-season.
From 2011 to 2013 it was the Red Bull, in the hands of Vettel.

Granted, the Mercedes has been very dominant over the entire season, but that is due to the fact that the performance differential comes mainly from the engine, on which there is a development freeze.
No amount of aero tweaking is going to make up that sort of deficit, especially considering Mercedes are also free to tweak their aero as the season progresses.

It's not really that different to what we saw last season, with Vettel winning 13 races, including the last 9 in a row.
I don't recall reading comments from the same posters how that WDC was worthless due to the superiority of the Red Bull though.
If anything, it's a lesser achievement than this season's due to the fact that Vettel was completely unchallenged.
To put it in perspective, Vettel finished 155 points clear of Alonso in second place and 198 points clear of his team mate, who barely had half of Vettel's points total.
Hamilton and Rosberg are just 17 points apart going into the final race; one second place finish.

Rather than the 2014 WDC being worthless due to the superiority of the Mercedes, I would say it will actually have been more hard fought than recent seasons.
Both Mercedes drivers have led the standings at some point, both have won races, both have qualified on pole and either one could win it at the last race.

The ridiculous double points rule notwithstanding, whichever driver wins the WDC this year will have thoroughly deserved it.

It is often said in F1 the first person you have to beat is your team mate and that has been perfectly exemplified this season.
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
There has been a lot of unjust criticism this year of Mercedes. Some have criticised their refusal to give the drivers vastly different strategies, and more freedom. However, it has been fantastic to see two drivers in the leading car given the opportunity to race, on the same strategy, just on how quick they drive wherever possible. (Excluding Hungary, which they handled badly and admitted to doing so.)

There has been a lot of provocation for them to call rank, and they haven't.
 

Dash Racing

Points Scorer
I have to admit I'm a bit baffled by the attitude that Mercedes' dominance is out of the ordinary. I've been watching F1 for going on a quarter of a century, and there have always been teams that have thoroughly trounced the rest of the field. I remember several stints of Williams thrashing all comers, and McLaren's dominance with the Honda engines back in the day, and goodness gracious did I get tired of Ferrari and Schumacher! I really, truly, honestly can't even begin to explain how sick and tired I was of the German and Italian national anthems race after race, after race. However, while I admit it can be boring to watch the same two drivers end up on the podium again and again and again, I can't help but smile at the fantastic job the engineers and mechanics have to have done to achieve that kind of dominance. Just one good component does not make a dominant team.
 

Jen

Here be dragons.
Contributor
There is no such thing as a 'worthless' WDC despite there being 'dominant' cars.

Racing isn't as simple as it used to be what with endless rule changes, testing bans, dicky tyres, team orders, et al - so any guy that comes through this carnage ahead has won his title fair and square IMO.
 

F1Yorkshire

Avatar for sale to the highest bidder
Contributor
We have had one team dominating the last 4 years, in that team there was only one capable driver.

We should be happy that even though it's one team clearly ahead of the pack at least we're getting the head to head races at the front end of the grid between team mates that haven't been seen since the 80's/90's with McLaren fielding Senna-Prost and Williams fielding Hill-Villeneuve.

It's a far better policy than the number one and number two driver method that was trademarked by Ferrari and to some extent Red Bull.
 

The Pits

Harumph. Again.
Valued Member
I can recall many saying that Vettels achievements were undermined due to the dominance of the car. Also, the same criticism was levelled at Brawn and Button in 2009.

Were I involved in Fora back in 2000 - 2004 I am sure that the same was said at the time.

There are always those who will attempt to discredit those who they do not support/like etc, rarely does it have significant basis in truth.

There will also always be those who will argue against a point that is rarely being made.

Personally, you cannot fault Mercedes for the job that they have done with the car. Likewise, the drivers are at least putting up a fight against each other. The only difference between this and previous seasons, is that the main competition is coming from within the team, rather than outside, which may lead to the cynical cries of orchestration.
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
It's nothing different to what we have had in F1 since year dot. I must admit, I've not seen too much criticism of Mercedes from that stand point.

I am no fan of JB and think his 2009 championship was more down to the car than most years however, the fact that he deserved the championship is beyond question. He took the tools that were given to him and did the job right.

The real problem lies in the inability these days to make great leaps forward in performance during the season. Once it became clear from the outset that Mercedes were so dominent it was going to be a one horse season all the way. That being said, it's no different to the Vettel years of the Schumi years.

While I understand the principle of both drivers being told to run the same strategy, on that point I have to say I do disagree but conceed that this in the minority of opinions.

As for double points, I guess the only crumb of comfort is that Rosberg is within 25 points of Hamilton therefore he would still have a chance of winning the WDC if the normal level of points were being awarded. Hamilton simply has to finish 1st or 2nd and that's goodnight Vienna. If he DNF's and Rosberg finishes 2nd or better then it would have been his championship regardless of double points or not.
 

F1Yorkshire

Avatar for sale to the highest bidder
Contributor
I think the only negative is how dominant they are. I don't think any car has had such an advantage over it's competitors since the FW14B. Back then large gaps in performance was the norm as cars were vastly different to one another. That is no fault of Mercedes. The main thing is that it has been a fairly straight fight from the start of the season to the finish and none of the messy team orders getting in the way deciding results.
 

ZakspeedYakspeed

NeverUnderestimateThePredictabilityOfStupidity
Valued Member
Whoever wins this the WDC this season deserves it ... period.

Both drivers have had moments this season where there emotional fragility has been exposed ... and both have responded ... and thankfully we get a decider in Abu Dhabi (heightened with the stoopid double points) ...

What will be of great interest to me post Abu Dhabi is how the loser in this title fight will respond next season ... I smell a little bit of 2010 in the air ... if Lewis follows through and wins it ... who will Nico handle that and respond in 2015 ... if Nico takes it away from Lewis, how does Lewis respond next season when he has had another close but no cigar season ... will make for fascinating stuff ...
 

KekeTheKing

Banned
Supporter
Vettels achievements

What many (myself included) maintained about Vettel was that he was doing exactly what he should have done. What others could have done given the opportunity. If Alonso had accepted the RBR drive then history would look very different. And the other thing Seb had going against him (popular perception) was that Mark Webber was a defeated man post-2010. His epic trouncing in 2013 underscored this fact vividly.

I must admit, I've not seen too much criticism of Mercedes from that stand point.

SF has been repeating this mantra since Round 3. Otherwise I think nearly everyone has recognized at some point this year just how incredible this teammate battle for the championship has been, despite the large pace advantage over the field.

And you're spot on with the DNF comment. I think the only way this title would have seriously tainted by the double points finale is if the championship leader went in with a 25+ point advantage, retired, and failed to win the crown.
 

siffert_fan

Too old to watch the Asian races live.
Contributor
For me, the difference is that, in past seasons, it has been the chassis that has been dominant, and the drivers have been instrumental in the development of the chassis.

When it is the engine that is dominant, and the estimates I have seen of the Merc advantage range from 80-140 hp, the drivers have had precisely NOTHING to do with the advantage. It is 100% down to the engineers. And a power advantage of that magnitude allows deficiencies in other areas (including less-than-huge driver errors) to be reduced in importance almost to the point of non-existence.

And, going forward, with the reduction in allowed testing and the freezing of engine specs, the driver will, IMO, be ever less a part of the equation.
 

snowy

Champion Elect
The drivability of a race engine is a critical area of development and like the chassis and aero is dependent upon driver input. Without the drivers input into engine or power unit development in every era of Formula one their cars would be undriveable.
 

siffert_fan

Too old to watch the Asian races live.
Contributor
Quite true, but 6 of those are customer cars and would start off the season at a large disadvantage relative to the "home team". There is no doubt that the Merc team was developing the power unit over at least a period of two years and, during all that time, they were also optimizing the chassis installation of the power unit. The customers were probably given little information beyond the approximate size and weight until the last moment. I doubt they even knew the cooling requirements until they actually received the units. Therefore, especially in light of the limit on testing, they were, quite likely, never able to fully optimize the car. Therefore, their drivers had to try to make up for the lack of optimization thru driving ability alone.

The fact that all 4 of the Merc-powered teams are in the top 6 is a clear illustration of the superiority of the units. Only the other 2 "factory "teams, which also were able to optimize the installation of their (inferior) power units were able to break the Merc monopoly.
 

chris1981

Points Scorer
Whoever wins this the WDC this season deserves it ... period.

Both drivers have had moments this season where there emotional fragility has been exposed ... and both have responded ... and thankfully we get a decider in Abu Dhabi (heightened with the stoopid double points) ...

What will be of great interest to me post Abu Dhabi is how the loser in this title fight will respond next season ... I smell a little bit of 2010 in the air ... if Lewis follows through and wins it ... who will Nico handle that and respond in 2015 ... if Nico takes it away from Lewis, how does Lewis respond next season when he has had another close but no cigar season ... will make for fascinating stuff ...

Based on nothing but gut instinct, I think Nico needs this years title more than Lewis. I think if Nico wins its a 50:50 for next year between them. If Lewis wins, I think its 70:30. Similar to what happened between Vet and Web.
 
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