Sunday, April 6, 2014


So from today we can conclude that the Mercedes engine is a huge advantage.  I rate the Ferrari engine next, and the Renault bringing up the rear.  I think the Red Bull chassis is in the same ballpark as the Mercedes chassis, with the Ferrari probably next -- but Mercedes power covers a lot of sins. 

The way the two Mercedes romped away from everyone else over the last ten laps -- three(!) seconds a lap faster than anyone else -- was awesome.  Dispiriting to everyone who isn't driving a Mercedes, and even more so to anyone who doesn't have a Mercedes engine, yes, but still an awesome display of power.

2014 is going to be a long year for Ferrari.  Points today is entertain no points, but really the title looks like a "next year" prospect.  The list of teams beating Ferrari today is depressingly long and includes a bunch of teams which really shouldn't be there.  Force India?  Williams?  Really?  Yes, really, and we just have to ride this season out and hope that next year is better. And it feels terrible to be writing off 2014 just three events into the season but frankly without engine development being permitted I don't see any chance for significant improvement.

I think that the engine homologation rules are really going to work against Formula 1 for a while.  Freezing engines after the formula had been in place for a few years and everyone had done some real-world development was one thing.  The resulting engines were reasonably equal, with some trade-offs -- yes the Mercedes was more powerful, but the Renault was lighter and easier on fuel.  But now that there is clearly an engine disparity and no chance to make it up in-season, Formula 1 risks becoming a one-make series.