With 3 races now complete in the 2014 Formula One season we already have a team that is starting to dominate the early part of the season. With their emphatic 1 2 finish on Sunday, Mercedes are setting the standard that every other team needs to meet. The big question is though can they continue to outpace their rivals for the rest of the season?
Lewis Hamilton only had to fight against one driver on Sunday, and that was his team mate Nico Rosberg. What was exciting though was the way the Mercedes team allowed them to get on with it, but to be honest I don’t think they could have stopped them going head to head even if they tried. The good news is that Mercedes have announced that there will be no team orders for Hamilton and Rosberg for the rest of the season leaving them to race freely against each other.
Mercedes have certainly got the pace and reliability at the moment but with a 2 week break before the next race in China the other teams are going to have time to make modifications to their cars set ups.
Both Force India and Red Bull are beginning to show that they are not that far behind the front runners, and I feel it is only a question of time before the Red Bulls are once again challenging Mercedes for podium positions. Daniel Ricciardo is adamant that Red Bull and Renault are moving forward:
“We’re still a little behind but we’re chipping away and I’m sure over the course of this test and in China we’ll get a little bit closer,” he said.
Williams have already amassed more points in the first three races of this season than they did in the whole of 2013, but they have still come under criticism from some for not achieving what was expected of them, and questioning what had gone wrong.
Williams responded by stating that nothing has gone wrong, it’s just a case of others inflating those expectations. Claire Williams had this to say, “As a team internally we knew where we were. So we didn’t have the expectations that we were going to win races and would never go in to a season thinking that we are going to win…”
I think that most Formula One fans would agree that Williams have got off to a great start, and that they are at the moment a force to be reckoned with, but it is still early days yet. Williams are a small independent team compared to the likes of Mercedes, Red Bull McLaren and Ferrari, and as much as we all like to see the underdog have its day Williams still have a long way to go before they start to see regular podium places.
China will give us all a chance to see how the other teams have moved forward over the 2 week break between races, but I really believe that it will take a few more races before the likes of McLaren, Red Bull and Ferrari make a real impact on Mercedes. With this in mind this could make the Grand Prix at Silverstone in July one of the most open races that has been seen there in years.