Wednesday, December 2, 2015

2015 Retrospective

So 2015 has come and gone, and frankly I expected it to be another waste of time. Nothing significant had changed at Ferrari -- Arrivabene and Vettel had both arrived too late to have significant input on the car's development, and with that in hand I didn't think that Ferrari would have any answer to any Mercedes-powered car, let alone the factory team running up front.

Shows what I know. Practically any other team would have killed to have had Ferrari's "bad year". A couple of wins, including the both pole and the win in Singapore. Second in the manufacturer's title, third and fourth in the driver's. And I believe Vettel's points haul rivals Alonso's from when Alonso was nearly champion a couple years back.

It was telling, though. The year that Alonso was nearly champion, we headed to Canada having had seven separate drivers as race winners for that year. This year we headed to Canada having had seven separate drivers as podium visitors for the year. Mercedes' reliability was epic, as was Vettel's machine-like predictability in picking up third. Although as a team fan I'm pleased with the result, it made for some dry racing.

Would Alonso have made out as well in this year's Ferrari? I'd like to say yes, but there's no way to know.

For the future, there's not much to say. None of the technical regulation proposals get me excited, and the fiddling around with a "cheap" motor and an equivalency formula just leaves me cold. The fact that the engines are hugely more efficient than what has come before is interesting, but really what draws people to the sport is the competition and the teams trying to come up with new technical solutions to close their gaps. Taking out in-season testing and engine development really puts a halt to that.

You really need multiple teams at the top with a fair chance to win on any given day, it makes the highs of winning higher and the lows of failing lower. You need a better reason for tuning in over "I wonder if Maldonaldo will run into anyone today?"