A plea for sanity.
I'd like to start by congratulating Merc and Lewis on this years championships. I'd also like to congratulate them for winning next years championships also. Well done. You may be on your way to 3 or 5 more! Literally...
Merc has now shown no one will out develop them in season. They have shown their engine is and will continue be the benchmark till AT LEAST 2021 reg changes. Brawn has hinted at extending engine changes till 2023. But even after new engine reg changes, they likely will continue to dominate, because why would it stop? They boast a pool of engineering to draw from world wide that dwarfs every other team on the grid and no one can touch them pound for engineering pound.
Look, even when Ferrari may have caught them season start (that's still up for debate if they did--I don't think they did), Merc have responded beautifully. And clearly when Lewis had a poor start recently he pulled away down the front straight anyway to not only equal **but pass** Vettel-- showed they have fully recovered any deficit they had season start, IF they had any, and then some. I've seen no evidence to believe they are anything but at the top with engine power and they will stay there or within 1% of anyone till 2021 or 2023.
Considering all this, what is going to stop them next season? Nothing. Vettel cracks under pressure. He's great when he has the fastest car but loses his mind when pressure mounts. Alonso please go back.
Yea, Honda may bring some magic next year but reliability will continue to be a concern (as anyone reasonable would expect), and it likely will at best only match Merc but reliability will squander chances till 2020 and then new regs start 2021.
Let's be honest here, Merc can out develop anybody as they have already demonstrated and it won't stop. Anything Honda or Red Bull bring, Merc will be able to match within a few races. Lewis is in his prime, and so honestly I see nobody really challenging him next year either. Furthermore, we all know and have observed they keep it close in the race, until they are challenged, and then just pull away one way or another.
Even if Merc end up being behind at the start of a season, they have entire continents of r & d to draw from and to delve ingenious solutions. They have a budget no one could ever touch with endless opportunities to bury money spent, to employ anyone they want, and pay any price necessary to keep whoever they want thus impoverishing other teams of engineering prowess that could be used to gain advantage.
Merc posses one of the top drivers currently on offer, and since racing is not a physically punishing sport like football or hockey, a racing athletes career can span decades and well into ones 40's--just watch how long Fred keeps racing. Heck if Merc had been fast for Schumacher when he was driving the Merc, he would be winning the championships Lewis is currently winning. So I see no reason why Hamilton would ever leave if he is given a car that can truly win each year for the next 5 years. Why leave? Why retire when championship after championship is well within reach every single year. Schumacher would have never retired if a charging Fred looking for a new contract, reg changes, and some kind of spat with Luca had not somehow ushered him out way too early.
The 2000-2005 Ferrari dominance was directly addressed by virtual removal of all private track testing, engine restrictions and longevity requirements, and massive tire composition and use changes to directly cripple Ferrari in ways money could not overcome. Somehow they got Luca to agree to give up the huge advantage they had of multiple tracks and endless funds to test for countless hours. Luca gave it up and Ferrari dominance was over and has never returned.
Here we have a situation where even critical changes like tires or aero, Merc has so many resources, and so many options to make up any disparity, they can and will adapt and master most any situation thrown at them. They have shown they are more than capable of overcoming virtually any concern, and we have seen this time and time again over their dominance from 2015 till...
Heck, even in private Merc team issues and concerns, they are able to clear them and make them non-issues on track. We saw how they had a number of strategic issues at start his year, and they seem to have cleared those up also with little fuss or controversy. Great job Toto.
So what gives now? What is stopping this team from not only easily dominating the rest of this year (turning all development attention to next year of course) but all of next, and then when new regulations come out, what will stop them from doing it again? Heck Lewis could be at the cusp of a 3, 4, or 5 year run (starting NEXT year) on championships with little to no real and challenging resistance with the types of useless changes they keep doing. DRS anyone?
And no Lewis is not going to retire if he can win. Gimme a break. Alonso would not be leaving if he could still be winning, and he's years older than Lewis. Schumacher would have stayed for many many years, but Ferrari were unable to overcome regulation changes which crippled them (thanks Luca), and Fred pushed Mike into retirement.
Honestly I don't see any driver in current form that can overcome Lewis in a Merc because even a car that offers a little advantage, Lewis' talent and the Merc empire will be able to out develop any new idea with either engine upgrades of a few hp, or aero development from a globe girdling arsenal of r&d. Who will touch this winning combination for years to come? Nobody.
So what's the solution? I think I have some options.
Unless the FIA make RADICAL and I mean RADICAL changes combined with MASSIVE changes to the power units, I just don't see this Merc with Lewis dominance stopping anytime soon. So if the FIA want to build their fan base, they will have to do something major. I mean let's be honest, only the true Merc and Lewis fan boi's till death would appreciate a 2015-2025 dominance. I've stopped watching the awards ceremonies and post interviews because it's just the same people and same words and same "competition is tough!" bs every single time.
Fully computer controlled constantly adaptable suspensions with simple two element car wide wings. Utilize an aerodynamic based on 90% or more ground effect with a monster diffuser. This would do well to help level things aero wise and following cars. Ground effect based aero would allow for closer following to encourage passing without the need for the ridiculous DRS. I truly hate the DRS. Truly.
They need to rid of the battery recovery nonsense, and load up more turbos with higher fuel flow. Make the cars so powerful they spin wheels any gear. Put power control and delivery back in the drivers hands, not the manufacturer or ridiculous, tricky, over complex recovery software that requires a graduate degree in physics operate.
Return to refueling to open strategies up and offer room for more mistakes which even huge empires like Merc will be subject.
May I suggest a return to steel brake discs? This would lengthen brake distances and would be more in keeping with what everyone uses on the road. Maybe develop new braking material pads but the steel would help encourage passing simply because the cars would not be able to stop as quickly. They want to be road car relevant, here's a great opportunity for the FIA to lead by example.
V-8 to v-12 piston engines with options for oval pistons and multi turbo engines and this will give all the efficiency needed. Maybe even superchargers and obviously multiple spark plugs and all kinds of advancements that could be done on the engine but remove the 3 engines per year nonsense. One engine per weekend is plenty of turnover to allow engine development.
Low profile tires and large wheels for more road relevancy.
Two tire options only, hard as hell -- last the whole race, and soft as f#&k -- dead in under 15 or so laps. No regs for what tires you start on. No regs for having to use both compounds.
Use vacuum trucks during yellow flags to remove tire klagg and debris from the tarmac so outside passing is still possible late into the race.
A return back to the drivers skill being emphasized will at least give more drivers a chance to challenge, and it will also accentuate the atrophy of an aging driver.
Thanks for reading. Cheers-