Today, if you were to stand in front of the Mercedes machine and all that the powerful car, its drivers, and the paraphernalia of the entire Brackley-based outfit has gone on to achieve (in the past half a decade) in Formula 1, then factoring all of that would probably induce vertigo.
Such towering has been the spate of achievements bagged by the team in this turbo-hybrid era of Formula 1 that regardless of how gifted a driver or team might you be, all seem mere mortals in front of a team whose achievements are redefining the rules of the game.
A tiny idea of Mercedes’ unsparing dominance in this current season could be made by the very fact that of the five rounds held thus far, four have been aced with utter comfort by the Toto Wolff-led side. And each of the five qualifying battles has been aced with ease by the team that’s simply not allowed any other constructor to experience what it means to lock out the front row.
Time and again, we are seeing Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas finish at the front of the grid, their customary position before the start and at the end of the Grand Prix.
So far, only Red Bull’s Max Verstappen has been able to hold back Mercedes’ assault over the rest of the grid as seen in a passionate albeit memorable win collected at the 52-lap 70th anniversary Grand Prix.
But before any of the Mercedes driver goes on to jog past the checkered flag on race day to collect what on pure form have become habitual wins or just the routine, as you might say, it’s the astonishing consistency on qualifying runs that have stunned all.
And now, Formula 1, in its bid to make the sport more competitive with the idea of making success ‘accessible’ to the other teams decided to call for a certain regulatory change in that the cars- prior to the Belgian Grand Prix this year, as per news- will run the same engine mode in qualifying and races.
This simply means whatever engine mode you were operating on during qualifying would be carried forward to the main race event.
However, the brand new technical regulation that is yet to be introduced and may not be seen until the circus approaches the serene Ardennes beauty of Spa Franchorchamps, has found some interesting observations by Lewis Hamilton.
So the question is- what does Lewis Hamilton feel about this yet-to-be-introduced regulation?
Turns out that the six-time world champion, currently with Mercedes doesn’t really feel that the introduction of the new rule would have a serious effect on the outcome of the battles. As a matter of fact, Lewis Hamilton, the man most certain to pick up a seventh driver’s title, has stated that it may not really have any serious impact on Mercedes’ overall position of ascedency.
Remember, finishing at the front of the grid is akin to a normal day at the office for the famous German constructor!
Having said that, the following is what Lewis Hamilton had to offer on the new regulation:
“They’re always trying to slow us down, but it doesn’t really change a huge amount for us so it’s not a problem.
“The guys at our team have just done such a good job with the engine.
“It’s obviously to slow us down but I don’t think it’s going to get the result that they want, so that’s totally fine if they do,” said the Brit.
“It’s impossible to know with other engine manufacturers how much they can actually gain when they do it all-out in qualifying and if we’re gaining more or not,” Bottas explained. “We are not panicking about it, if that regulation comes it’s the same for everyone.
“But when I heard about the possibility for the first time, actually this morning, the first thing [that] came to my mind [is the effect it will have in races. Because every team obviously has different modes in terms of how much they want to risk in terms of wearing the engine and sometimes when they can [change the performance mode].
“[It’s] also the same for us, we can save the engine if we have margin, and also in terms of strategic things in the race, for drivers many times we are using different modes whether we are defending, attacking.”
So that told, let us know what you feel would happen once the directive comes into effect on the grid; will it have a significant impact on turning the battle of qualifying on its head?