Monday, March 14, 2016

F1: Can Anybody Stop the Mercedes Juggernaut in 2016?




Nico Rosberg in the Uber Dominant Mercedes at Barcelona's final Winter Test. (Image source: f1fanatic.co.uk)
Ho Hum, get set for another year of two Panzerwagons painted primarily silver decimating the competition...

Somehow I'm guessing Y'all don't need to be Rocket Scientists to figure out that unfortunately the Mercedes Benz duo of reigning triple world champion Lewis Hamilton and sidekick Nico Rosberg will once again demoralizingly dominate the driver's and Constructors title chases, as they've seemingly toyed with the opposition during winter testing by clocking unprecedented mileage in lieu of topping the time  sheets; having run a distance of 20 Grands Prix in eight days with just a single transmission failure on  the final test day!

But is it Mercedes fault that  the competition cannot stop Thy Silver Arrows supremacy? Or more feasibly the FIA and FOM respectively due to their inability to craft a precise future path for the sport, i.e.; rules stability, which in turn would potentially lead to the arrival of more major auto manufacturers? I mean SHIT! They cannot even decide if they'll SCREW UP Qualifying or not! Since what was wrong with having multiple cars nipping for Pole by being last across the timing stripe in Q3?

Although definitely not a fan 'O Luca D's, I'm guessing he's got a valid point in claiming Formula 1 needs to reinvent itself...







And whilst not overly enamoured by thee Ronster', nee Ron Dennis, I do believe his claim that the only way for a modern day Formula 1 Constructor to compete for the world championship is tied to being aligned as a "Works" F1 entity, for which only four currently exist: Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault and  Honda.

As not really sure who's PU (Power Unit) between Honda and Renault's is better? As they currently fight for third fiddle with Ferrari P2 - clambering uphill after the Mighty Merc!

Unfortunately, regardless of A-L-L the PR Speak, I see the Top-3 finishers in the Almighty Constructors championship remaining unchanged in 2016, i.e.; Mercedes besting la Scuderia (Ferrari) for a third consecutive Constructors crown with Team Willy', aka Williams F1 once again claiming the final podium step.

Although I'll once again hope for Williams, with this year's FW38 chassis to bring Valtteri Bottas his debutant Grand Prix victory, while seeing Felipe Massa atop the podium would also be wonderful, just doesn't really matter who gives Sir Frank his first winner's trophy since Pastor Maldonado's 2012 win.


Yet where things get interesting, and tricky for Mwah is the certain to be hyper-intense Scrum for Best 'O Rest Midfield runners, for which Red Bull seemingly is the wildcard due to the unknown quantitative amount 'O horsepower its Swiss Timepieces, nee Tag Heuer badged Renault Power Units can thump out?

While the Force India's seem to be continuing their upwards trajectory, albeit  perhaps in light of diverting Attenzione away from embattled VJ Duh Playah' - who wrongly was given a $75m "Golden Parachute;" SHEISA!

Meanwhile you'd have to say the Jury's still out upon Red Bull's 'lil Seester, nee the little Bulls, aka Scuderia Toro Rosso, who theoretically should be improved with Maranello PU's bolted to their Backsides, albeit they'll be utilizing year old Ferrari Power Units, which will be interesting to see how they stack up vs. le Reggie?

As the team I'm probably most excited about now is Renault, largely due to its two Hard Chargin' Young Gun drivers, as I'm looking forward to seeing who comes out on top between MAGS' JR, nee Kevin "Bacon" Magnussen v JOLY', aka Jolyon Palmer.

As both are second generation drivers, with Magnussen having won the 2013 Formula Renault 3.5 Series title and Palmer winning the 2014 GP2 championship, as both definitely belong in the sport with more than a single year contract to their current employment status, but Formula 1 is a brutally cruel sport!

As the main Questione towards le Reggie for 2016 being whether Renault has gotten to grips over its horsepower deficiency? Not to mention chassis Aerodynamics, for which we'll need to give Bob Bell and his staff time to expound upon.

Although James Allen mentioned upon Winter Testing wrapping up that they've given up 60 horsepower after the switchback from the preferred Mercedes PU to "Works" Renault status; YOUCH!

And then there's McLaren, as will the Honda PU progress this season - or still be a glorified GP2 'lump? And how long will "Fredrico Suave" (Fernando Alonso) enjoy toiling mid-pack? And will this be Bloody JENSE's (Button) Swan Song? And more importantly will McLaren ever return to the winner's podium step?

As originally I was gonna comment that I thought McLaren would fault from its lowly P9 Constructors standing to fifth this year, but now I'm not so certain...


Funny how fast opinions change. As I'm still intrigued over how Manor progresses, but mightily PEEVED over it's taking mucho  Indo' Dinero vs. American talent, i.e.; Alexander Rossi!

With that said, our final three runners seem a mixed bag, with Sauber, Manor and new Boyz Haas battling royally over not being last place on the Constructors points table.

Sauber seems waning, having only ran their 2016 challenger, the C35 during the second and final test, thus theoretically playing catch-up?

Reportedly the new Manor Racing MRT05 is an astounding four seconds-a-lap quicker vs. its predecessor, albeit now utilizing current specification equipment, especially the mighty Merc' PU! As its only weak link is its Pay Driver Rio Haryanto, who seems to be on an ultra steep learning curve. But Yuhs get what you paid for; Err for taking Thy cash Mr. Fitzpatrick!

Which just leaves us with the much ballyhooed Haas, the first American flagged Formula 1 racing team since ironically, Carl Haa's Lola FORCE effort of 1985-86.

And regardless of A-L-L the controversy over their 'Uber close la Scuderia links, with many likening them to a Ferrari B-Team, nonetheless they're definitely suffering the initiation phase of running for the first time ever in anger, having suffered teething problems - including a front wing failure on Day-1 NO less!

Thus, I'm not so certain anymore that they'll be able to outscore Manor Points-wise in their debutant F1 campaign, as it looks like it'll be a long season for Romain Grosjean who deserves better. While NO idea where Esteban Gutierrez will wind up standings wise...

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