“The Nightmare In Silver…”

Well, we’re four races into this…interesting Formula 1 season so far. It’s not been the best of times unless you drive a car that’s silver and turquoise but there has been some interesting observations that have been noted so far, in my eyes at least, that I wanted to get out there. So, grab a brew and enjoy them.

Yeah, Mercedes are kinda REALLY fast.

If F1 history is anything to go by, if you can nail a new set of technical regulations, you’ll strike immediate gold. Like Brawn in 2009, Mercedes have done exactly that, and then some this season so far.

Their advantage is something in the region of a second a lap, and it’s something I’ve not seen in Formula 1 in recent years. Not even Brawn had this kind of advantage. And the way the team’s been put together is perfect. Lewis Hamilton is a brilliant all-rounder who can win ANY given race he’s in, one of the best qualifiers of all-time and the perfect guy to build a team around.

Then you have Nico Rosberg, as the best unofficial #2 in Formula 1 now. A guy who consistently score good points, score the occasional win, and because he isn’t as good as Hamilton (Sorry Nico fans), he natrually can still score big points as he is still in by a mile, the best car on the board. It’s a perfect storm with Hamilton’s 75 points and Rosberg’s 79. Expect that WDC title to change hands if this keeps up.

So what happened to this whole “Exciting Racing” thing?

Yeah, part of the new regulations was to try and encourage closer racing, and therefore, more exciting races – Yeah, where?

Don’t get me wrong, Bahrain was awesome. That might be your one good race for the season, because the other three races have been mediocre, and wouldn’t look out of place in comparison to Vettel’s dominant yet equally boring run in the latter half of 2013. Not been a lot of awesome stuff going down outside of the usual DRS assisted passes.

I hope the wave of mediocrity goes away soon, because it’s not good for anyone outside of maybe Hamilton fans, who most likely, will turn a blind eye to the situation and embrace his new found speed.

McLaren are somehow WORSE than last year?

Remember when Kevin Magnussen came 2nd in Australia, with Jenson 3rd and we were all stunned at how McLaren seemed to bounce back from their 2013 season of woe?

Yeah…Welp. Dunno what the hell happened, but McLaren have gone backwards. MASSIVELY backwards. I was thinking the wet quali in China may have been smoke and mirrors, but their race pace was poor and both cars finished outside of the points on pure pace alone was like Ferrari in Bahrain, only worse. And this has been on the back of Ron Dennis claiming the car was going to be “half a second” a lap faster with the new nose they added from Malaysia.

It’s all gone a bit pear shaped at McLaren and no-one quite seems to know why yet. McLaren are officially sinking into the midfield and that is something that is just flat out bizarre. All of a sudden, the Whitmarsh era doesn’t look quite so bad…

The tale of two Red Bulls…

Arguably the strangest of the two driver battles so far has been how at Red Bull, Daniel Ricciardo seems to have hit the ground running, while across the garage, reigning Champion Sebastian Vettel, appears to be struggling, and again, no-one quite seems to know why.

Is it the driving style of Ricciardo, his aggressive nature? Is it his experience of driving cars without the diffusers (See 2010), is it the bad luck Vettel seems to be getting mechanically? It’s still very early days yet, and Seb himself admits it takes him some time to adapt (2012 and 2013 he said the same), so we’ll have to see what happens there. But make no mistake, Daniel Ricciardo is the real deal.

And two Ferrari’s…

Erm…Is it just me or is Kimi Raikkonen fading fast here? Seriously, he seems to has vanished off the F1 landscape as of right now, where in the other Ferrari, Fernando Alonso is cementing his status as the most consistent man in F1 with some stellar performances to finish in the Top 5 in 3 of the opening 4 races, given Ferrari’s inconsistencies with performance so far.

Is Kimi phoning it in for the paycheck? Are his struggles with the braking my wire system the problem? Or something else? It’s interesting to see the disparity between two World Champions in the same machine.

– Team Orders in F1: The gift that keeps on giving

Oh dear. Seems like we can’t go one season without some instance of team orders rearing it’s ugly head. Last year, we had Multi 21, Mercedes being sly with it further back, and Grosjean giving Kimi 2nd in Germany, this year, we’ve already had 2 counts of Vettel letting the faster Ricciardo through, and of course “Valterri is faster than you”.

I sense a lot of hypocrisy when it comes to Team Orders amongst the fans. I see a lot of the time where, fans declare their hatrid of the concept of Team Orders, yet will also boo the guy who breaks said rules – Like a Kimi Raikkonen, or a Sebastian Vettel. I don’t think people realize the double standard here. A lot of fans who villifyed Sebastian Vettel’s Multi 21 last season, were cheering Felipe Massa for his near identical act a year later.

You can’t have your cake and eat it too. It makes you look like a hypocrite. To me, Team Orders are something I don’t like, but also understand why they have to exist, teams need a safety net and some level of control, because after all, many drivers are the only things their team can’t get a true grip on.

What have you made of the season so far? Let me know in the comments.