Stradivarius wrote:I agree that the races and the championship still has the potential of being close despite Mercedes advantage, since Hamilton and Rosberg are at the same level. But I am a bit worried. We have already discussed the strategies, but even if Rosberg's strategy wasn't much slower than Hamilton's, don't you think it mattered at all for Mercedes that they were able to avoid close, risky battles by running different strategies? When Rosberg had his first go at Hamilton and was forced off the track, he came on the radio and said: "Warn him, that was not on!" And the kind of close racing we saw for the last couple of laps of the first stint and the first laps after safety car, was very exciting for us, but probably very uncomfortable for the top Mercedes people to watch, as that kind of aggressiveness that we saw from Lewis does not come without risk. We have all seen Hamilton making contact with others in situations like that. Happily for Mercedes, Rosberg yielded every time that he had to. My concern is that Mercedes will ruin the excitement. In Bahrain they were about to do it through the strategies, but failed because of the safety car. Next time I don't know what they will do.
AFAIR, Rosberg's "Warn him, that was not on" was right after his very first attempt to pass Lewis in the DRS zone when he overtook on the inside, slightly overshot (due to braking late at a higher speed) and Hamilton swerved left and then right (behind Rosberg) to take an extremely tight line back to the inside of the corner past the apex. Rosberg, who overshot slightly immediately accelerated, steering towards back to the inside, but Lewis came storming past and nearly hit his front-right with his left-rear. Miraculously, contact was avoided by Rosberg turning left by reflex. The margin was very very close though. IMO that was also the most "iffy" moment in the whole battle where things could have ended in tears.
About the inter-team rivalry: I have to admit, I am a bit worried too, that certain rules will be made to avoid too fierce battling at a certain stage. Qualifying will be thus very important. At this stage though, Mercedes being the dominant car and the team with the largest interest in these new engines, will have every incentive to keep the sport "entertaining" as RedBull and Ferrari together with Bernie are loud on the criticism over this new Formula. With the advantage they have, they can afford to too. This IMO is a good reason for them not employ teamorders [to a certain degree].
I also think Niki, who is closely tied to the RTL coverage, has also been very vocal about them not employing team-orders as that is not in the spirit of Mercedes. He was also very vocal/critical last year when Brawn ordered Rosberg to stand down in Malaysia. This might all be show until it suits the agenda of the team, but I think as long as Mercedes remain dominant and with a clear advantage, they might actually let their drivers fight for the wins. I hope they do. I guess we will see soon enough...