Despite being just four races into the 2019 season, the F1 news cycle seems to have slowed to an almost offseason pace, thanks in no small part to the dominance of Mercedes.
Compared to most sports, Formula One holds a unique spot in the constant battle of quality versus quantity. Even at the current count of 21 races, we get no where near as much of “it” as most other major sporting leagues, and yet it’s rare that there isn’t something substantial to talk about… this being one of those rare times, and rarer still because we’re just four races into the season.
Yep, short of whatever Jacques Villeneuve or Helmut Marko are spouting, the F1 news cycle appears to have hit a bit of a snag. Gone is the intrigue we were promised in the preseason, in its place a weariness over reliving the same story for four race-weekends in a row – namely Ferrari show up with big expectations, find a way to bugger it up, and Mercedes waltz home with a 1-2. That means the questions we had after Melbourne haven’t really changed, and all we can do is continue to wait for answers.
Making matters worse, even with the welcome surprise of Mercedes having two driver’s championship contenders, they’re far too amicable with each other for us to make anything of it. I mean, credit to the guy after their seats for trying, but this is about as much a “war” as Marvel vs DC is at the box office.
No, unfortunately instead they’ve shown up to each race and just gone about their business. Compared to everyone else, the W10 is both reliable and easier to manage, while their drivers are lacking in neither pace nor composure. Top-to-bottom, they could not have been more competent – which, as a writer for a 24/7/365 F1 news site craving stuff to over-analyse, I find very inconsiderate.
In all seriousness, the run Mercedes have been on is beyond remarkable, even if it doesn’t lend itself to continually fresh headlines. Truly I can’t think of a team in world sport that is as well-run as they are right now, and that’s not easy considering the amount of time, money and people that go into delivering the product we see on track.
The already looming sense of inevitability they’ve created may not be make make for much intrigue, but it is well deserved. Still, with 17 grands prix left, there’s plenty of time for a plot twist – it’s just going to have to be a big one to stop the Silver Arrows from keeping on rolling.
Big Question: How to deal with quiet F1 weekends?