Marauding McLaren And Mercurial Mercedes Dominating F1 Recently

McLaren
McLaren

It’s McLaren one day and Red Bull on any other. Such as been the recent F1 trend from the onset of Miami.

However, something still remains largely unchanged at the front of the pack.

Perhaps there simply can’t be much a counter-argument to the point that even at this stage, with ten races done and dusted in 2024, it’s still Max Verstappen who remains the biggest threat to any other driver on the current grid. After all, he has already secured seven race wins where it comes to 2024 taking most recently his overall win tally to 61.

If you were to think about it by diving into a bit of statistics, then you’ll find that he still has more race wins to his name than the combined quartet of Valtteri Bottas, Jenson Button, Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen.

However, Verstappen dominating F1 currently isn’t the only hot point of discussion as others too, have fought back into contention and been causing Red Bull and its great driver a bit of hiccups.

As a matter of fact, from the onset of the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix, a race most loved and acclaimed for bringing a long-awaited victory to the sport’s only current Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc, the likes of Mercedes and McLaren have become the other dominant headlining acts of Formula 1.

McLaren’s hero

Two other races have happened since Monaco, first Canada and later, Spain. Now, on the one hand, while McLaren have scored no fewer than 53 points from these two races, Mercedes, on the other hand, have claimed 55 points.

Implicit in what can be described as a closely-fought battle (as evidenced of lately) between McLaren and Mercedes is the Silver Arrows’ consistent to fight for podiums. While Russell claimed a dogged third at the Montreal-bound Canadian Grand Prix, Lando Norris in the other famed British Constructor, redoubtably a legend of the sport, has been dismantling his detractors and close opponents alike.

To give a perspective of which driver has fetched most points from these two stables, it is important to understand the effort that McLaren’s Norris has brought to the equation. Of the 53 points that the Woking-based outfit collected in the last two F1 races, Norris has single handedly accounted for 37 of those (which is clearly more than half of what his team’s gathered in the past events).

Mercedes’ double impact that has led to a positive impact

On the other hand, thanks to both Mercedes drivers finishing consecutively in the top-four on the grid, the Silver Arrows stable has experienced a fine resurgence of sorts. And while it hasn’t stalled its rival Constructor, a compatriot (also) hailing from England, the progress has given Lando Norris and his team much to think about.

Make no mistake. Lewis Hamilton capturing a fantastic and perhaps even surprising P3 start last week at Catalunya, which was translated into a valiant podium has also contributed to Mercedes’ two-pronged attack. All of this makes the McLaren versus Mercedes fight interesting and in turn, spices out things at the front with Red Bull finding no easy day in its bid to cross the checkered flag ahead of everybody.

How far have the upgrades helped McLaren?

But facts, a phrase Russell loves, first- Red Bull and Verstappen still being the hot contender for eventual victory at the end of the season have now found a three way fight including Ferrari, who have been pushing them from the start as seen at events like Bahrain, Australia and later, Monaco. In two of these three races, victory didn’t belong to a Red Bull car.

While certainly it isn’t known as to who will prevail in the end, the current trends, pretty evident from the onset of Monaco this year suggest that Red Bull cannot take things for granted. That they’re the quickest of the present grid is no longer a statement punctuated by monopoly.

The upgrades brought out by McLaren, for instance, which were evident at Emilia Romagna (where Norris captured a second) have corrected several problems for the car, one of them being pace improvement in the slow-speed corners. On the straights, whether one talks of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve or at Barcelona, Lando Norris in a McLaren seems a far bigger force than a Sainz or Leclerc gunning down opponents in the SF 24.

What could be expected ahead in the McLaren v Mercedes fight

Meanwhile, Russell’s ability to put up consistent qualifying results, doubling it with regular finishes at the front of the grid on Sundays have enhanced Mercedes’s prowess. The latter wasn’t the case last year.

All of this seems to suggest that maybe the best punter in town might not be able to place a firm bet on the eventual winner of the 2024 Austrian Grand Prix. It is here where the legend of ‘last lap Lando’ was born in that bright papaya-liveried car a few moons ago.

It is very much a track where a Russell and Hamilton could be expected to go zip, zap and zoom in a bid to close their gap to McLaren, especially having done such good work in the last fortnight.

Could this and more developments make the Austrian Grand Prix a cracker of a contest? What do you reckon, Max?

Mclaren
Lando Norris has been in dismissive form of late, grabbing three podiums in last four races

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