F1: So Ends The Most Ridiculous Phase In Grand Prix History
Nico Rosberg took the 2016 F1 Driver's World Championship crown in Abu Dhabi last night, adding his name to the list of greats whose names already adorn this trophy. Unfortunately, it's a purely academic crown, given that the last three seasons have shaken out to be a two class championship, with the two Mercedes drivers battling for the title and the rest of the field racing in Class B.
It has been the most tedious, uninteresting and least compelling era of F1 and the titles won by Hamilton and Rosberg are worthless in comparison to the majority of hard won titles achieved over the previous sixty-plus years of the sport. What kind of World Championship only has two protagonists?
Yes, we have had years when one team has dominated in the past - but when free development and testing were allowed, things became more competitive as seasons wore on, or a season of domination has been followed by a competitive season of racing as rivals caught up.
The current set of rules have prevented this from happening. The result being that in three years Mercedes drivers have won all but seven Grand Prix. Only three other drivers have won races in that time.
F1 has become a pale shadow of its magnificent past. Even its recent past.
The only positive is that New regulations might shake things up a bit. Until free development and testing is restored though, the potential remains for one manufacturer to out think the others and begin a new period of domination from next season.
The suggestion that F1 needs to be run on a tight budget is contrary to the historic goals of the sport, where progress was above everything. I imagine that Ferrari, Renault and Honda would have chosen to spend $250m over the last three seasons to get to a place of competitiveness, rather than $150m to be also-rans.